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Digitized by the Internet Archive 
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http://archive.org/details/cabbageskingshenr 



CABBAGES AND KINGS 



CABBAGES 
AND KINGS 

BY 

O. HENRY 



V MCC ' P •/ 

A &:.■ Co A 
93i' Q itfS 


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.N Y : \1 



NEW YORK 

McCLURE, PHILLIPS & CO. 

MCM1V 



Copyright, 1904, by 
McCLURE, PHILLIPS & CO. 

Published, November, 1904 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

The Proem : By the Carpenter . . 3 

i. " fox-in-the-morning " .... 11 

II. The Lotus and the Bottle . . 27 

III. Smith 48 

IV. Caught 69 

V. Cupid's Exile Number Two . . 91 

VI. The Phonograph and the Graft 102 

VII. Money Maze 126 

VIII. The Admiral 144 

IX. The Flag Paramount 159 

X. The Shamrock and the Palm . . 177 

XI. The Remnants of the Code . . 208 

XII. Shoes 225 

XIII. Ships 242 

XIV. Masters of Arts 257 

XV. Dicky 285 

XVI. Rouge et Noir 307 

XVII. Two Recalls 324 

XVIII. The Vitagraphoscope 339 



CABBAGES AND KINGS 



" The time has come" the Walrus said, 
" To talk of many things ; 
Of shoes and ships and sealing-wax, 
And cabbages and kings." 



THE WALRUS AND THE CARPENTER 



THE PROEM: 

By the Carpenter 



1 HEY will tell you in Anchuria, that President 
Miraflores, of that volatile republic, died by his own 
hand in the coast town of Coralio; that he had 
reached thus far in flight from the inconveniences of 
an imminent revolution ; and that one hundred thou- 
sand dollars, government funds, which he carried 
with him in an American leather valise as a souvenir 
of his tempestuous administration, was never after- 
ward recovered. 

For a real, a boy will show you his grave. It is 
back of the town near a little bridge that spans a 
mangrove swamp. A plain slab of wood stands at 
its head. Some one has burned upon the headstone 
with a hot iron this inscription: 



4 Cabbages and Kings 

RAMON ANGEL DE LAS CRUZES 

Y MIRAFLORES 

PRESIDENTE DE LA REPUBLICA 

DE ANCHURIA 

QUE SEA SU JUEZ DIOS 

It is characteristic of this buoyant people that they 
pursue no man beyond the grave. " Let God be his 
judge ! " — Even with the hundred thousand unfound, 
though greatly coveted, the hue and cry went no fur- 
ther than that. 

To the stranger or the guest the people of Coralio 
will relate the story of the tragic end of their former 
president; how he strove to escape from the country 
with the public funds and also with Dona Isabel 
Guilbert, the young American opera singer; and how, 
being apprehended by members of the opposing polit- 
ical party in Coralio, he shot himself through the 
head rather than give up the funds, and, in conse- 
quence, the Sefiorita Guilbert. They will relate 
further that Dona Isabel, her adventurous bark of 
fortune shoaled by the simultaneous loss of her dis- 
tinguished admirer and the souvenir hundred thou- 
sand, dropped anchor on this stagnant coast, await- 
ing a rising tide. 



The Proem 5 

They say, in Coralio, that she found a prompt and 
prosperous tide in the form of Frank Goodwin, an 
American resident of the town, an investor who had 
grown wealthy by dealing in the products of the coun- 
try — a banana king, a rubber prince, a sarsaparilla, 
indigo, and mahogany baron. The Senorita Guil- 
bert, you will be told, married Sefior Goodwin one 
month after the president's death, thus, in the very 
moment when Fortune had ceased to smile, wresting 
from her a gift greater than the prize withdrawn. 

Of the American, Don Frank Goodwin, and of his 
wife the natives have nothing but good to say. Don 
Frank has lived among them for years, and has com- 
pelled their respect. His lady is easily queen of what 
social life the sober coast affords. The wife of the 
governor of the district, herself, who was of the proud 
Castilian family of Monteleon y Dolorosa de los 
Santos y Mendez, feels honoured to unfold her nap- 
kin with olive-hued, ringed hands at the table of 
Sefiora Goodwin. Were you to refer (with your 
northern prejudices) to the vivacious past of Mrs. 
Goodwin when her audacious and gleeful abandon 
in light opera captured the mature president's fancy, 



6 Cabbages and Kings 

or to her share in that statesman's downfall and mal- 
feasance, the Latin shrug of the shoulder would be 
your only answer and rebuttal. What prejudices 
there were in Coralio concerning Sefiora Goodwin 
seemed now to be in her favour, whatever they had 
been in the past. 

It would seem that the story is ended, instead of 
begun; that the close of a tragedy and the climax of 
a romance have covered the ground of interest; but, 
to the more curious reader it shall be some slight in- 
struction to trace the close threads that underlie the 
ingenuous web of circumstances. 

The headpiece bearing the name of President 
Miraflores is daily scrubbed with soap-bark and 
sand. An old half-breed Indian tends the grave with 
fidelity and the dawdling minuteness of inherited 
sloth. He chops down the weeds and ever-springing 
grass with his machete, he plucks ants and scorpions 
and beetles from it with his horny fingers, and 
sprinkles its turf with water from the plaza fountain. 
There is no grave anywhere so well kept and ordered. 

Only by following out the underlying threads will 
it be made clear why the old Indian, Galvez, is 



The Proem 7 

secretly paid to keep green the grave of President 
Miraflores by one who never saw that unfortunate 
statesman in life or in death, and why that one was 
wont to walk in the twilight, casting from a distance 
looks of gentle sadness upon that unhonoured mound. 

Elsewhere than at Coralio one learns of the im- 
petuous career of Isabel Guilbert. New Orleans 
gave her birth and the mingled French and Spanish 
Creole nature that tinctured her life with such tur- 
bulence and warmth. She had little education, but 
a knowledge of men and motives that seemed to have 
come by instinct. Far beyond the common woman 
was she endowed with intrepid rashness, with a love 
for the pursuit of adventure to the brink of danger, 
and with desire for the pleasures of life. Her spirit 
was one to chafe under any curb; she was Eve after 
the fall, but before the bitterness of it was felt. She 
wore life as a rose in her bosom. 

Of the legion of men who had been at her feet 
it was said that but one was so fortunate as to engage 
her fancy. To President Miraflores, the brilliant 
but unstable ruler of Anchuria, she yielded the key 
to her resolute heart. How, then, do we find her (as 



8 Cabbages and Kings 

the Coralians would have told you) the wife of Frank 
Goodwin, and happily living a life of dull and dreamy 
inaction ? 

The underlying threads reach far, stretching across 
the sea. Following them out it will be made plain 
why "Shorty" O'Day, of the Columbia Detective 
Agency, resigned his position. And, for a lighter 
pastime, it shall be a duty and a pleasing sport to 
wander with Momus beneath the tropic stars where 
Melpomene once stalked austere. Now to cause 
laughter to echo from those lavish jungles and 
frowning crags where formerly rang the cries of 
pirates' victims; to lay aside pike and cutlass and 
attack with quip and jollity; to draw one saving titter 
of mirth from the rusty casque of Romance — this 
were pleasant to do in the shade of the lemon-trees 
on that coast that is curved like lips set for smiling. 

For there are yet tales of the Spanish Main. That 
segment of continent washed by the tempestuous Ca- 
ribbean, and presenting to the sea a formidable border 
of tropical jungle topped by the overweening Cordil- 
leras, is still begirt by mystery and romance. In past 
times buccaneers and revolutionists roused the echoes 



The Proem 9 

of its cliffs, and the condor wheeled perpetually above 
where, in the green groves, they made food for him 
with their matchlocks and toledos. Taken and re- 
taken by sea rovers, by adverse powers and by sudden 
uprising of rebellious factions, the historic 300 miles 
of adventurous coast has scarcely known for hun- 
dreds of years whom rightly to call its master. Pi- 
zarro, Balboa, Sir Francis Drake, and Bolivar did 
what they could to make it a part of Christendom. 
Sir John Morgan, Lafitte and other eminent swash- 
bucklers bombarded and pounded it in the name of 
Abaddon. 

The game still goes on. The guns of the rovers 
are silenced ; but the tintype man, the enlarged photo- 
graph brigand, the kodaking tourist and the scouts of 
the gentle brigade of fakirs have found it out, and 
carry on the work. The hucksters of Germany, 
France, and Sicily now bag its small change across 
their counters. Gentlemen adventurers throng the 
waiting-rooms of its rulers with proposals for railways 
and concessions. The little opera-bouffe nations play 
at government and intrigue until some day a big, silent 
gunboat glides into the offing and warns them not to 



10 Cabbages and Kings 

break their toys. And with these changes comes 
also the small adventurer, with empty pockets to fill, 
light of heart, busy-brained — the modern fairy 
prince, bearing an alarm clock with which, more 
surely than by the sentimental kiss, to awaken the 
beautiful tropics from their centuries' sleep. Gene- 
rally he wears a shamrock, which he matches pride- 
fully against the extravagant palms; and it is he 
who has driven Melpomene to the wings, and set 
Comedy to dancing before the footlights of the South- 
ern Cross. 

So, there is a little tale to tell of many things. Per- 
haps to the promiscuous ear of the Walrus it shall 
come with most avail; for in it there are indeed 
shoes and ships and sealing-wax and cabbage-palms 
and presidents instead of kings. 

Add to these a little love and counterplotting, and 
scatter everywhere throughout the maze a trail of 
tropical dollars — dollars warmed no more by the 
torrid sun than by the hot palms of the scouts of For.- 
tune — and, after all, here seems to be Life, itself, 
with talk enough to weary the most garrulous of 
Walruses. 



CHAPTER ONE 
" Fox-in-the-Morning " 

V^ORALIO reclined, in the mid-day heat, like some 
vacuous beauty lounging in a guarded harem. The 
town lay at the sea's edge on a strip of alluvial coast. 
It was set like a little pearl in an emerald band. Be- 
hind it, and seeming almost to topple, imminent, 
above it, rose the sea-following range of the Cordil- 
leras. In front the sea was spread, a smiling jailer, 
but even more incorruptible than the frowning moun- 
tains. The waves swished along the smooth beach; 
the parrots screamed in the orange and ceiba-trees; 
the palms waved their limber fronds foolishly .like 
an awkward chorus at the prima donna's cue to enter. 
Suddenly the town was full" of excitement. A 
native boy dashed down a grass-grown street, shriek- 



12 Cabbages and Kings 

ing: " Busca el Se%or Goodwin. Ha venido un 

teUgrajo for el I " 

The word passed quickly. Telegrams do not often 
come to anyone in Coralio. The cry for Senor Good- 
win was taken up by a dozen officious voices. The 
main street running parallel to the beach became pop- 
ulated with those who desired to expedite the delivery 
of the despatch. Knots of women with complexions 
varying from palest olive to deepest brown gath- 
ered at street corners and plaintively carolled : " Un 
teUgrajo for Seizor Goodwin!" The comandante, 
Don Senor el Coronel Encarnaci6n Rios, who was 
loyal to the Ins and suspected Goodwin's devotion 
to the Outs, hissed: " Aha ! " and wrote in his secret 
memorandum book the accusive fact that Senor 
Goodwin had on that momentous date received a 
telegram. 

In the midst of the hullabaloo a man stepped to 
the door of a small wooden building and looked out. 
Above the door was a sign that read "Keogh and 
Clancy"— a nomenclature that seemed not to be in- 
digenous to that tropical soil. The man in the door 
was Billy Keogh, scout of fortune and progress and 



Fox-in-the- Morning 13 

latter-day rover of the Spanish Main. Tintypes and 
photographs were the weapons with which Keogh 
and Clancy were at that time assailing the helpless 
shores. Outside the shop were set two large frames 
filled with specimens of their art and skill. 

Keogh leaned in the doorway, his bold and humor- 
ous countenance wearing a look of interest at the 
unusual influx of life and sound into the street. When 
the meaning of the disturbance became clear to him 
he placed a hand beside his mouth and shouted: 
"Hey! Frank!" in such a robustious voice that the 
feeble clamour of the natives was drowned and 
silenced. 

Fifty yards away, on the seaward side of the street, 
stood the abode of the consul for the United States. 
Out from the door of this building tumbled Goodwin 
at the call. He had been smoking with Willard Ged- 
die, the consul, on the back porch of the consulate, 
which was conceded to be the coolest spot in Coralio. 

"Hurry up," shouted Keogh. "There's a riot in 
town on account of a telegram that's come for you. 
You want to be careful about these things, my boy. 
It won't do to trifle with the feelings of the public 



14 Cabbages and Kings 

this way. You'll be getting a pink note some day 
with violet scent on it; and then the country'll be 
steeped in the throes of a revolution." 

Goodwin had strolled up the street and met the 
boy with the message. The ox-eyed women gazed 
at him with shy admiration, for his type drew them. 
He was big, blonde, and jauntily dressed in white 
linen, with buckskin zapatos. His manner was 
courtly, with a sort of kindly truculence in it, tem- 
pered by a merciful eye. When the telegram had 
been delivered, and the bearer of it dismissed with a 
gratuity, the relieved populace returned to the con- 
tiguities of shade from which curiosity had drawn 
it — the women to their baking in the mud ovens 
under the orange-trees, or to the interminable comb- 
ing of their long, straight hair; the men to their 
cigarettes and gossip in the cantinas. 

Goodwin sat on Keogh's doorstep, and read his 
telegram. It was from Bob Englehart, an American, 
who lived in San Mateo, the capital city of Anchuria, 
eighty miles in the interior. Englehart was a gold 
miner, an ardent revolutionist and "good people." 
That he was a man of resource and imagination was 



Fox-in-the- Morning 15 

proven by the telegram he had sent. It had been his 
task to send a confidential message to his friend in 
Coralio. This could not have been accomplished in 
either Spanish or English, for the eye politic in An- 
churia was an active one. The Ins and the Outs 
were perpetually on their guard. But Englehart 
was a diplomatist. There existed but one code upon 
which he might make requisition with promise of 
safety — the great and potent code of Slang. So, 
here is the message that slipped, unconstrued, 
through the fingers of curious officials, and came to 
the eye of Goodwin : 

"His Nibs skedaddled yesterday per jack-rabbit 
fine with all the coin in the kitty and the bundle of 
muslin he's spoony about. The boodle is six figures 
short. Our crowd in good shape, but we need the 
spondulicks. You collar it. The main guy and the 
dry goods are headed for the briny. You know 
what to do. BOB." 

This screed, remarkable as it was, had no mystery 
for Goodwin. He was the most successful of the 
small advance-guard of speculative Americans that 
had invaded Anchuria, and he had not reached that 



16 Cabbages and Kings 

enviable pinnacle without having well exercised the 
arts of foresight and deduction. He had taken up 
political intrigue as a matter of business. He was 
acute enough to wield a certain influence among the 
leading schemers, and he was prosperous enough to 
be able to purchase the respect of the petty office- 
holders. There was always a revolutionary party; 
and to it he had always allied himself; for the adhe- 
rents of a new administration received the rewards 
of their labours. There was now a Liberal party 
seeking to overturn President Miraflores. If the 
wheel successfully revolved, Goodwin stood to win a 
concession to 30,000 manzanas of the finest coffee 
lands in the interior. Certain incidents in the recent 
career of President Miraflores had excited a shrewd 
suspicion in Goodwin's mind that the government 
was near a dissolution from another cause than that 
of a revolution, and now Englehart's telegram had 
come as a corroboration of his wisdom. 

The telegram, which had remained unintelligible to 
the Anchurian linguists who had applied to it in vain 
their knowledge of Spanish and elemental English, 
conveyed a stimulating piece of news to Goodwin's 



F ox -in-the- Morning 17 

understanding. It informed him that the president 
of the republic had decamped from the capital city 
with the contents of the treasury. Furthermore, that 
he was accompanied in his flight by that winning 
adventuress Isabel Guilbert, the opera singer, whose 
troupe of performers had been entertained by the 
president at San Mateo during the past month on a 
scale less modest than that with which royal visitors 
are often content. The reference to the "jack-rab- 
bit line " could mean nothing else than the mule-back 
system of transport that prevailed between Coralio 
and the capital. The hint that the "boodle" was 
" six figures short " made the condition of the national 
treasury lamentably clear. Also it was convincingly 
true that the ingoing party — its way now made a 
pacific one — would need the " spondulicks." Un- 
less its pledges should be fulfilled, and the spoils held 
for the delectation of the victors, precarious indeed, 
would be the position of the new government. There- 
fore it was exceeding necessary to "collar the main 
guy," and recapture the sinews of war and govern- 
ment. 

Goodwin handed the message to Keogh. 



18 Cabbages and Kings 

"Read that, Billy," he said. "It's from Bob 
Englehart. Can you manage the cipher ? " 

Keogh sat in the other half of the doorway, and 
carefully perused the telegram. 

" 'Tis not a cipher," he said, finally. " 'Tis what 
they call literature, and that's a system of language 
put in the mouths of people that they've never been 
introduced to by writers of imagination. The maga- 
zines invented it, but I never knew before that Presi- 
dent Norvin Green had stamped it with the seal of 
his approval. 'Tis now no longer literature, but lan- 
guage. The dictionaries tried, but they couldn't 
make it go for anything but dialect. Sure, now that 
the Western Union indorses it, it won't be long till 
a race of people will spring up that speaks it." 

"You're running too much to philology, Billy," 
said Goodwin. " Do you make out the meaning of 
it?" 

" Sure," replied the philosopher of Fortune. " All 
languages come easy to the man who must know 'em. 
I've even failed to misunderstand an order to evacuate 
in classical Chinese when it was backed up by the 
muzzle of a breech-loader. This little literary essay I 



Fox-in-the- Morning 19 

hold in my hands means a game of Fox-in-the-Morn- 
ing. Ever play that, Frank, when you was a kid ?" 

" I think so," said Goodwin, laughing. " You join 
hands all 'round, and — " 

"You do not," interrupted Keogh. "You've got 
a fine sporting game mixed up in your head with ' All 
Around the Rosebush.' The spirit of 'Fox-in-the- 
Morning' is opposed to the holding of hands. I'll 
tell you how it's played. This president man and 
his companion in play, they stand up over in San 
Mateo, ready for the run, and shout: 'Fox-in-the- 
Morning!' Me and you, standing here, we say: 
'Goose and the Gander!' They say: 'How many 
miles is it to London town ? ' We say: * Only a few, 
if your legs are long enough. How many comes out ? ' 
They say: 'More than you're able to catch.' And 
then the game commences." 

" I catch the idea," said Goodwin. " It won't do 
to let the goose and gander slip through our fingers, 
Billy; their feathers are too valuable. Our crowd 
is prepared and able to step into the shoes of the 
government at once; but with the treasury empty 
we'd stay in power about as long as a tenderfoot 



20 Cabbages and Kings 

would stick on an untamed bronco. We must play 
the fox on every foot of the coast to prevent their get- 
ting out of the country." 

"By the mule-back schedule," said Keogh, "it's 
five days down from San Mateo. We've got plenty 
of time to set our outposts. There's only three places 
on the coast where they can hope to sail from — here 
and Solitas and Alazan. They're the only points 
we'll have to guard. It's as easy as a chess problem 
— fox to play, and mate in three moves. Oh, goosey, 
goosey, gander, whither do you wander ? By the 
blessing of the literary telegraph the boodle of this 
benighted fatherland shall be preserved to the honest 
political party that is seeking to overthrow it." 

The situation had been justly outlined by Keogh. 
The down trail from the capital was at all times a 
weary road to travel. A jiggety-joggety journey it 
was; ice-cold and hot, wet and dry. The trail 
climbed appalling mountains, wound like a rotten 
string about the brows of breathless precipices, 
plunged through chilling snow-fed streams, and wrig- 
gled like a snake through sunless forests teeming with 
menacing insect and animal life. After descending 



Fox-in-ihe- Morning 21 

to the foothills it turned to a trident, the central prong 
ending at Alazan. Another branched off to Coralio ; 
the third penetrated to Solitas. Between the sea and 
the foothills stretched the five miles breadth of allu- 
vial coast. Here was the flora of the tropics in its 
rankest and most prodigal growth. Spaces here and 
there had been wrested from the jungle and planted 
with bananas and cane and orange groves. The rest 
was a riot of wild vegetation, the home of monkeys, 
tapirs, jaguars, alligators and prodigious reptiles and 
insects. Where no road was cut a serpent could 
scarcely make its way through the tangle of vines 
and creepers. Across the treacherous mangrove 
swamps few things without wings could safely pass. 
, Therefore the fugitives could hope to reach the coast 
only by one of the routes named. 

" Keep the matter quiet, Billy," advised Goodwin. 
"We don't want the Ins to know that the president is 
in flight. I suppose Bob's information is something 
of a scoop in the capital as yet. Otherwise he would 
not have tried to make his message a confidential 
one; and, besides, everybody would have heard the 
news. I'm going around now to see Dr. Za valla, 



22 Cabbages and Kings 

and start a man up the trail to cut the telegraph 

wire." 

As Goodwin rose, Keogh threw his hat upon the 
grass by the door and expelled a tremendous sigh. 

"What's the trouble, 61117?" asked Goodwin, 
pausing. "That's the first time I ever heard you 
sigh." 

" 'Tis the last," said Keogh. " With that sorrow- 
ful puff of wind I resign myself to a life of praise- 
worthy but harassing honesty. What are tintypes, 
if you please, to the opportunities of the great and 
hilarious class of ganders and geese? Not that I 
would be a president, Frank — and the boodle he's 
got is too big for me to handle — but in some ways 
I feel my conscience hurting me for addicting myself 
to photographing a nation instead of running away 
with it. Frank, did you ever see the * bundle of mus- 
lin ' that His Excellency has wrapped up and carried 
off?" 

" Isabel Guilbert ? " said Goodwin, laughing. " No, 
I never did. From what I've heard of her, though, 
I imagine that she wouldn't stick at anything to carry 
her point. Don't get romantic, Billy. Sometimes 



Fox-in-the- Morning 23 

I begin to fear that there's Irish blood in your ances- 
try." 

"I never saw her either," went on Keogh; "but 
they say she's got all the ladies of mythology, sculp- 
ture, and fiction reduced to chromos. They say she 
can look at a man once, and he'll turn monkey and 
climb trees to pick cocoanuts for her. Think of that 
president man with Lord knows how many hundreds 
of thousands of dollars in one hand, and this muslin 
siren in the other, galloping down hill on a sym- 
pathetic mule amid songbirds and flowers! And 
here is Billy Keogh, because he is virtuous, con- 
demned to the unprofitable swindle of slandering the 
faces of missing links on tin for an honest living ! 'Tis 
an injustice of nature." 

"Cheer up," said Goodwin. "You are a pretty 
poor fox to be envying a gander. Maybe the en- 
chanting Guilbert will take a fancy to you and your 
tintypes after we impoverish her royal escort." 

"She could do worse," reflected Keogh; "but she 
won't. 'Tis not a tintype gallery, but the gallery of 
the gods that she's fitted to adorn She's a very 
wicked lady, and the president man is in luck. But 



24 Cabbages and Kings 

I hear Clancy swearing in the back room for having 
to do all the work." And Keogh plunged for the 
rear of the " gallery," whistling gaily in a spontaneous 
way that belied his recent sigh over the questionable 
good luck of the flying president. 

Goodwin turned from the main street into a much 
narrower one that intersected it at a right angle. 

These side streets were covered by a growth of 
thick, rank grass, which was kept to a navigable 
shortness by the machetes of the police. Stone side- 
walks, little more than a ledge in width, ran along 
the base of the mean and monotonous adobe houses. 
At the outskirts of the village these streets dwindled 
to nothing ; and here were set the palm-thatched huts 
of the Caribs and the poorer natives, and the shabby 
cabins of negroes from Jamaica and the West India 
islands. A few structures raised their heads above 
the red-tiled roofs of the one-story houses — the bell 
tower of the Calaboza, the Hotel de los Estranjeros, 
the residence of the Vesuvius Fruit Company's 
agent, the store and residence of Bernard Brannigan, 
a ruined cathedral in which Columbus had once set 
foot, and, most imposing of all, the Casa Morena — 



Fox-in-the- Morning 25 

the summer " White House " of the President of An- 
churia. On the principal street running along the 
beach — the Broadway of Coralio — were the larger 
stores, the government bodega and post-office, the 
cuartely the rum-shops and the market place. 

On his way Goodwin passed the house of Bernard 
Brannigan. It was a modern wooden building, two 
stories in height. The ground floor was occupied 
by Brannigan's store, the upper one contained the 
living apartments. A wide, cool porch ran around 
the house half way up its outer walls. A handsome, 
vivacious girl neatly dressed in flowing white leaned 
over the railing and smiled down upon Goodwin. 
She was no darker than many an Andalusian of high 
descent; and she sparkled and glowed like a tropical 
moonlight. 

" Good evening, Miss Paula," said Goodwin, 
taking off his hat, with his ready smile. There was 
little difference in his manner whether he addressed 
women or men. Everybody in Coralio liked to re- 
ceive the salutation of the big American. 

" Is there any news, Mr. Goodwin ? Please don't 
say no. Isn't it warm ? I feel just like Mariana in 



26 Cabbages and Kings 

her moated grange — or was it a range ? — it's hot 

enough." 

" No, there's no news to tell, I believe," said Good- 
win, with a mischievous look in his eye, " except that 
old Geddie is getting grumpier and crosser every day. 
If something doesn't happen to relieve his mind I'll 
have to quit smoking on his back porch — and there's 
no other place available that is cool enough." 

"He isn't grumpy," said Paula Brannigan, im- 
pulsively, " when he — " 

But she ceased suddenly, and drew back with a 
deepening colour; for her mother had been a mestizo 
lady, and the Spanish blood had brought to Paula 
a certain shyness that was an adornment to the other 
half of her demonstrative nature. 



CHAPTER TWO 

The Lotus and the Bottle 



WlLLARD GEDDIE, consul for the United 
States in Coralio, was working leisurely on his yearly 
report. Goodwin, who had strolled in as he did 
daily for a smoke on the much coveted porch, had 
found him so absorbed in his work that he departed 
after roundly abusing the consul for his lack of 
hospitality. 

" I shall complain to the civil service department, ,, 
said Goodwin ; — "or is it a department ? — per- 
haps it's only a theory. One gets neither civility nor 
service from you. You won't talk; and you won't 
set out anything to drink. What kind of a way is 
that of representing your government?" 

Goodwin strolled out and across to the hotel to see 



28 Cabbages and Kings 

if he could bully the quarantine doctor into a game 
on Coralio's solitary billiard table. His plans were 
completed for the interception of the fugitives from 
the capital; and now it was but a waiting game that 
he had to play. 

The consul was interested in his report. He was 
only twenty-four; and he had not been in Coralio 
long enough for his enthusiasm to cool in the heat 
of the tropics — a paradox that may be allowed 
between Cancer and Capricorn. 

So many thousand bunches of bananas, so many 
thousand oranges and cocoanuts, so many ounces of 
gold dust, pounds of rubber, coffee, indigo and sar- 
saparilla — actually, exports were twenty per cent, 
greater than for the previous year ! 

A little thrill of satisfaction ran through the consul. 
Perhaps, he thought, the State Department, upon 
reading his introduction, would notice — and then 
he leaned back in his chair and laughed. He was 
getting as bad as the others. For the moment he 
had forgotten that Coralio was an insignificant town 
in an insignificant republic lying along the by-ways 
of a second-rate sea. He thought of Gregg, the quar- 



The Lotus and the Bottle 29 

antine doctor, who subscribed for the London Lancet y 
expecting to find it quoting his reports to- the home 
Board of Health concerning the yellow fever germ. 
The consul knew that not one in fifty of his acquaint- 
ances in the States had ever heard of Coralio. He 
knew that two men, at any rate, would have to read 
his report — some underling in the State Department 
and a compositor in the Public Printing Office. Per- 
haps the typesticker would note the increase of com- 
merce in Coralio, and speak of it, over the cheese and 
beer, to a friend. 

He had just written: "Most unaccountable is 
the supineness of the large exporters in the United 
States in permitting the French and German houses 
to practically control the trade interests of this rich 
and pro luctive country " — when he heard the 
hoarse notes of a steamer's siren. 

Geddie laid down his pen and gathered his Pan- 
ama hat and umbrella. By the sound he knew it to 
be the Valhalla, one of the line of fruit vessels plying 
for the Vesuvius Company. Down to ninos of five 
years, everyone in Coralio could name you each in- 
coming steamer by the note of her siren. 



30 Cabbages and Kings 

The consul sauntered by a roundabout, shaded 
way to the beach. By reason of long practice he 
gauged his stroll so accurately that by the time he 
arrived on the sandy shore the boat of the customs 
officials was rowing back from the steamer, which 
had been boarded and inspected according to the 
laws of Anchuria. 

There is no harbour at Coralio. Vessels of the 
draught of the Valhalla must ride at anchor a mile 
from shore. When they take on fruit it is conveyed 
on lighters and freighter sloops. At Solitas, where 
there was a fine harbour, ships of many kinds were 
to be seen, but in the roadstead off Coralio scarcely 
any save the fruiters paused. Now and then a tramp 
coaster, or a mysterious brig from Spain, or a saucy 
French barque would hang innocently for a few days 
in the offing. Then the custom-house crew would 
become doubly vigilant and wary. At night a sloop 
or two would be making strange trips in and out 
along the shore; and in the morning the stock of 
Three-Star Hennessey, wines and drygoods in Coralio 
would be found vastly increased. It has also been 
said that the customs officials jingled more silver in 



The Lotus and the Bottle 31 

the pockets of their red-striped trousers, and that the 
record books showed no increase in import duties 
received. 

The customs boat and the Valhalla gig reached 
the shore at the same time. When they grounded 
in the shallow water there was still five yards of roll- 
ing surf between them and dry sand. Then half- 
clothed Caribs dashed into the water, and brought 
in on their backs the Valhalla's purser and the little 
native officials in their cotton undershirts, blue trou- 
sers with red stripes, and flapping straw hats. 

At college Geddie had been a treasure as a first- 
baseman. He now closed his umbrella, stuck it up- 
right in the sand, and stooped, with his hands resting 
upon his knees. The purser, burlesquing the pitch- 
er's contortions, hurled at the consul the heavy roll 
of newspapers, tied with a string, that the steamer 
always brought for him. Geddie leaped high and 
caught the roll with a sounding "thwack." The 
loungers on the beach — about a third of the popula- 
tion of the town — laughed and applauded delight- 
edly. Every week they expected to see that roll of 
papers delivered and received in that same manner, 



32 Cabbages and Kings 

and they were never disappointed. Innovations did 

not flourish in Coralio. 

The consul re-hoisted his umbrella, and walked 
back to the consulate. 

This home of a great nation's representative was a 
wooden structure of two rooms, with a native-built 
gallery of poles, bamboo and nipa palm running on 
three sides of it. One room was the official apart- 
ment, furnished chastely with a flat-top desk, a ham- 
mock, and three uncomfortable cane-seated chairs. 
Engravings of the first and latest president of the 
country represented hung against the wall. The 
other room was the consul's living apartment. 

It was eleven o'clock when he returned from the 
beach, and therefore breakfast time. Chanca, the 
Carib woman who cooked for him, was just serving 
the meal on the side of the gallery facing the sea — 
a spot famous as the coolest in Coralio. The break- 
fast consisted of shark's fin soup, stew of land crabs, 
breadfruit, a broiled iguana steak, aguacates, a 
freshly cut pineapple, claret and coffee. 

Geddie took his seat, and unrolled with luxurious 
laziness his bundle of newspapers. Here in Coralio 



The Lotus and the Bottle 33 

for two days or longer he would read of goings-on in 
the world very much as we of the world read those 
whimsical contributions to inexact science that as- 
sume to portray the doings of the Martians. After 
he had finished with the papers they would be sent 
on the rounds of the other English-speaking resi- 
dents of the town. 

The paper that came first to his hand was one of 
those bulky mattresses of printed stuff upon which 
the readers of certain New York journals are sup- 
posed to take their Sabbath literary nap. Opening 
this the consul rested it upon the table, supporting its 
weight with the aid of the back of a chair. Then he 
partook of his meal deliberately, turning the leaves 
from time to time and glancing half idly at the con- 
tents. 

Presently he was struck by something familiar to 
him in a picture — a half -page, badly printed repro- 
duction of a photograph of a vessel. Languidly in- 
terested, he leaned for a nearer scrutiny and a view of 
the florid headlines of the column next to the picture. 

Yes; he was not mistaken. The engraving was 
of the eight-hundred-ton yacht Idalia, belonging to 



34 Cabbages and Kings 

"that prince of good fellows, Midas of the money 

market, and society's pink of perfection, J. Ward 

Tolliver." 

Slowly sipping his black coffee, Geddie read the 
column of print. Following a listed statement of 
Mr. Tolliver's real estate and bonds, came a descrip- 
tion of the yacht's furnishings, and then the grain of 
news no bigger than a mustard seed. Mr. Tolliver, 
with a party of favoured guests, would sail the next 
day on a six weeks' cruise along the Central American 
and South American coasts and among the Bahama 
Islands. Among the guests were Mrs. Cumberland 
Payne and Miss Ida Payne, of Norfolk. 

The writer, with the fatuous presumption that was 
demanded of him by his readers, had concocted a 
romance suited to their palates. He bracketed the 
names of Miss Payne and Mr. Tolliver until he had 
well-nigh read the marriage ceremony over them. 
He played coyly and insinuatingly upon the strings 
of "on dit" and "Madame Rumour" and "a little 
bird " and " no one would be surprised," and ended 
with congratulations. 
1 Geddie, having finished his breakfast, took his pa- 



The Lotus and the Bottle 35 

pers to the edge of the gallery, and sat there in his 
favourite steamer chair with his feet on the bamboo 
railing. He lighted a cigar, and looked out upon the 
sea. He felt a glow of satisfaction at finding he was 
so little disturbed by what he had read. He told 
himself that he had conquered the distress that had 
sent him, a voluntary exile, to this far land of the 
lotus. He could never forget Ida, of course; but 
there was no longer any pain in thinking about her. 
When they had had that misunderstanding and quar- 
rel he had impulsively sought this consulship, with 
the desire to retaliate upon her by detaching himself 
from her world and presence. He had succeeded 
thoroughly in that. During the twelve months of his 
life in Coralio no word had passed between them, 
though he had sometimes heard of her through the 
dilatory correspondence with the few friends to 
whom he still wrote. Still he could not repress a lit- 
tle thrill of satisfaction at knowing that she had not 
yet married Tolliver or anyone else. But evidently 
Tolliver had not yet abandoned hope. 

Well, it made no difference to him now. He had 
eaten of the lotus. He was happy and content in 



36 Cabbages and Kings 

this land of perpetual afternoon. Those old days of 
life in the States seemed like an irritating dream. 
He hoped Ida would be as happy as he was The 
climate as balmy as that of distant Avalon; the 
fetterless, idyllic round of enchanted days; the life 
among this indolent, romantic people — a life full of 
music, flowers, and low laughter; the influence of the 
imminent sea and mountains, and the many shapes 
of love and magic and beauty that bloomed in the 
white tropic nights — with all he was more than 
content. Also, there was Paula Brannigan. 

Geddie intended to marry Paula — if, of course, 
she would consent; but he felt rather sure that she 
would do that. Somehow, he kept postponing his 
proposal. Several times he had been quite near to 
it; but a mysterious something always held him back. 
Perhaps it was only the unconscious, instinctive con- 
viction that the act would sever the last tie that bound 
him to his old world. 

He could be very happy with Paula. Few of the 
native girls could be compared with her. She had 
attended a convent school in New Orleans for two 
years; and when she chose to display her accom- 



The Lotus and the Bottle 37 

plishments no one could detect any difference be- 
tween her and the girls of Norfolk and Manhattan. 
But it was delicious to see her at home dressed, as 
she sometimes was, in the native costume, with bare 
shoulders and flowing sleeves. 

Bernard Brannigan was the great merchant of 
Coralio. Besides his store, he maintained a train of 
pack mules, and carried on a lively trade with the 
interior towns and villages. He had married a na- 
tive lady of high Castilian descent, but with a tinge 
of Indian brown showing through her olive cheek. 
The union of the Irish and the Spanish had produced, 
as it so often has, an offshoot of rare beauty and vari- 
ety. They were very excellent people indeed, and 
the upper story of their house was ready to be placed 
at the service of Geddie and Paula as soon as he 
should make up his mind to speak about it. 

By the time two hours were whiled away the consul 
tired of reading. The papers lay scattered about 
him on the gallery. Reclining there, he gazed dream- 
ily out upon an Eden. A clump of banana plants 
interposed their broad shields between him and the 
sun. The gentle slope from the consulate to the sea 



38 Cabbages and Kings 

was covered with the dark-green foliage of lemon- 
trees and orange-trees just bursting into bloom. A 
lagoon pierced the land like a dark, jagged crystal, 
and above it a pale ceiba-tree rose almost to the 
clouds. The waving cocoanut palms on the beach 
flared their decorative green leaves against the slate 
of an almost quiescent sea. His senses were cognizant 
of brilliant scarlets and ochres amid the vert of the 
coppice, of odours of fruit and bloom and the smoke 
from Chanca's clay oven under the calabash-tree; 
of the treble laughter of the native women in their 
huts, the song of the robin, the salt taste of the breeze, 
the diminuendo of the faint surf running along the 
shore — and, gradually, of a white speck, growing to 
a blur, that intruded itself upon the drab prospect of 
the sea. 

Lazily interested, he watched this blur increase 
until it became the Idalia steaming at full speed, 
coming down the coast. Without changing his posi- 
tion he kept his eyes upon the beautiful white yacht 
as she drew Swiftly near, and came opposite to Co- 
ralio. Then, sitting upright, he saw her float stead- 
ily past and on. Scarcely a mile of sea had separated 



The Lotus and the Bottle 39 

her from the shore. He had seen the frequent flash of 
her polished brass work and the stripes of her deck- 
awnings — so much, and no more. Like a ship on 
a magic lantern slide the Idalia had crossed the illu- 
minated circle of the consul's little world, and was 
gone. Save for the tiny cloud of smoke that was left 
hanging over the brim of the sea, she might have 
been an immaterial thing, a chimera of his idle brain. 

Geddie went into his office and sat down to dawdle 
over his report. If the reading of the article in the 
paper had left him unshaken, this silent passing of 
the Idalia had done for him still more. It had 
brought the calm and peace of a situation from which 
all uncertainty had been erased. He knew that men 
sometimes hope without being aware of it. Now, 
since she had come two thousand miles and had 
passed without a sign, not even his unconscious self 
need cling to the past any longer. 

After dinner, when the sun was low behind the 
mountains, Geddie walked on the little strip of beach 
under the cocoanuts. The wind was blowing mildly 
landward, and the surface of the sea was rippled by 
tiny wavelets. 



40 Cabbages and Kings 

A miniature breaker, spreading with a soft "swish " 
upon the sand brought with it something round and 
shiny that rolled back again as the wave receded. 
The next influx beached it clear, and Geddie picked 
it up. The thing was a long-necked wine bottle of 
colourless glass. The cork had been driven in tight- 
ly to the level of the mouth, and the end covered with 
dark-red sealing-wax. The bottle contained only 
what seemed to be a sheet of paper, much curled 
from the manipulation it had undergone while being 
inserted. In the sealing-wax was the impression of 
a seal — probably of a signet-ring, bearing the initials 
of a monogram ; but the impression had been hastily 
made, and the letters were past anything more cer- 
tain than a shrewd conjecture. Ida Payne had 
always worn a signet-ring in preference to any 
other finger decoration. Geddie thought he could 
make out the familiar "I P"; and a queer sen- 
sation of disquietude went over him. More person- 
al and intimate was this reminder of her than had 
been the sight of the vessel she was doubtless on. 
He walked back to his house, and set the bottle on 
his desk. 



The Lotus and the Bottle 41 

Throwing off his hat and coat, and lighting a lamp 
— for the night had crowded precipitately upon the 
brief twilight — he began to examine his piece of sea 
salvage. 

By holding the bottle near the light and turning it 
judiciously, he made out that it contained a double 
sheet of note-paper filled with close writing ; further, 
that the paper was of the same size and shade as that 
always used by Ida; and that, to the best of his be- 
lief, the handwriting was hers. The imperfect glass 
of the bottle so distorted the rays of light that he could 
read no word of the writing; but certain capital let- 
ters, of which he caught comprehensive glimpses, were 
Ida's, he felt sure. 

There was a little smile both of perplexity and 
amusement in Geddie's eyes as he set the bottle down, 
and laid three cigars side by side on his desk. He 
fetched his steamer chair from the gallery, and 
stretched himself comfortably. He would smoke 
those three cigars while considering the problem. 

For it amounted to a problem. He almost wished 
that he had not found the bottle; but the bottle was 
there. Why should it have drifted in from the sea, 



4£ Cabbages and Kings 

whence come so many disquieting things, to disturb 
his peace ? 

In this dreamy land, where time seemed so redund- 
ant, he had fallen into the habit of bestowing much 
thought upon even trifling matters. 

He began to speculate upon many fanciful theo- 
ries concerning the story of the bottle, rejecting each 
in turn. 

Ships in danger of wreck or disablement some- 
times cast forth such precarious messengers calling 
for aid. But he had seen the Idalia not three hours 
before, safe and speeding. Suppose the crew had 
mutinied and imprisoned the passengers below, and 
the message was one begging for succour! But, 
premising such an improbable outrage, would the 
agitated captives have taken the pains to fill four 
pages of note-paper with carefully penned arguments 
to their rescue. 

Thus by elimination he soon rid the matter of the 
more unlikely theories, and was reduced — though 
aversely — to the less assailable one that the bottle 
contained a message to himself. Ida knew he was 
in Coralio; she must have launched the bottle while 



The Lotus and the Bottle 43 

the yacht was passing and the wind blowing fairly 
toward the shore. 

As soon as Geddie reached this conclusion a wrin- 
kle came between his brows and a stubborn look set- 
tled around his mouth. He sat looking out through 
the doorway at the gigantic fire-flies traversing the 
quiet streets. 

If this was a message to him from Ida, what could 
it mean save an overture toward a reconciliation? 
And if that, why had she not used the same methods 
of the post instead of this uncertain and even flippant 
means of communication ? A note in an empty bot- 
tle, cast into the sea ! There was something light and 
frivolous about it, if not actually contemptuous. 

The thought stirred his pride and subdued what- 
ever emotions had been resurrected by the finding of 
the bottle. 

Geddie put on his coat and hat and walked out. He 
followed a street that led him along the border of the 
little plaza where a band was playing and people were 
rambling, care-free and indolent. Some timorous 
senoritas scurrying past with fire-flies tangled in the 
jetty braids of their hair glanced at him with shy, flat- 



44 Cabbages and Kings 

tering eyes. The air was languorous with the scent of 

jasmin and orange-blossoms. 

The consul stayed his steps at the house of Bernard 
Brannigan. Paula was swinging in a hammock on 
the gallery. She rose from it like a bird from its nest. 
The colour came to her cheek at the sound of Ged- 
die's voice. 

He was charmed at the sight of her costume — a 
flounced muslin dress, with a little jacket of white 
flannel, all made with neatness and style. He sug- 
gested a stroll, and they walked out to the old Indian 
well on the hill road. They sat on the curb, and 
there Geddie made the expected but long-deferred 
speech. Certain though he had been that she would 
not say him nay, he was thrilled with joy at the com- 
pleteness and sweetness of her surrender. Here was 
surely a heart made for love and steadfastness. Here 
was no caprice or questionings or captious stand- 
ards of convention. 

When Geddie kissed Paula at her door that night 
he was happier than he had ever been before. " Here 
in this hollow lotus land, ever to live and lie reclined" 
seemed to him, as it has seemed to many mariners, the 



The Lotus and the Bottle 45 

best as well as the easiest. His future would be an 
ideal one. He had attained a Paradise without a ser- 
pent. His Eve would be indeed a part of him, unbe- 
guiled, and therefore more beguiling. He had made 
his decision to-night, and his heart was full of serene, 
assured content. 

Geddie went back to his house whistling that finest 
and saddest love song, " La Golondrina. " At the 
door his tame monkey leaped down from his shelf, 
chattering briskly. The consul turned to his desk to 
get him some nuts he usually kept there. Reaching 
in the half -darkness, his hand struck against the bot- 
tle. He started as if he had touched the cold rotund- 
ity of a serpent. 

He had forgotten that the bottle was there. 

He lighted the lamp and fed the monkey. Then, 
very deliberately, he lighted a cigar, and took the bottle 
in his hand, and walked down the path to the beach. 

There was a moon, and the sea was glorious. The 
breeze had shifted, as it did each evening, and was 
now rushing steadily seaward. 

Stepping to the water's edge, Geddie hurled the un- 
opened bottle far out into the sea. It disappeared for 



46 Cabbages and Kings 

a moment, and then shot upward twice its length. 
Geddie stood still, watching it. The moonlight was 
so bright that he could see it bobbing up and down 
with the little waves. Slowly it receded from the 
shore, flashing and turning as it went. The wind was 
carrying it out to sea. Soon it became a mere speck, 
doubtfully discerned at irregular intervals ; and then 
the mystery of it was swallowed up by the greater 
mystery of the ocean. Geddie stood still upon the 
beach, smoking and looking out upon the water. 

" Simon ! — Oh, Simon ! — wake up there, Simon ! " 
bawled a sonorous voice at the edge of the water. 

Old Simon Cruz was a half-breed fisherman and 
smuggler who lived in a hut on the beach. Out of 
his earliest nap Simon was thus awakened. 

He slipped on his shoes and went outside. Just 
landing from one of the Valhalla's boats was the third 
mate of that vessel, who was an acquaintance of Si- 
mon's, and three sailors from the fruiter. 

" Go up, Simon, " called the mate, " and find Dr. 
Gregg or Mr. Goodwin or anybody that's a friend to 
Mr. Geddie, and bring 'em here at once. " 



The Lotus and the Bottle 47 

" Saints of the skies ! " said Simon, sleepily, " noth- 
ing has happened to Mr. Geddie ? " 

" He's under that tarpauling, " said the mate, point- 
ing to the boat, "and he's rather more than half 
drownded. We seen him from the steamer nearly a 
mile out from shore, swimmin' like mad after a bottle 
that was floatin' in the water, outward bound. We 
lowered the gig and started for him. He nearly had 
his hand on the bottle, when he gave out and went 
under. We pulled him out in time to save him, 
maybe; but the doctor is the one to decide that. " 

"A bottle?" said the old man, rubbing his eyes. 
He was not yet fully awake. " Where is the bottle ?" 

" Driftin' along out there some'eres," said the mate, 
jerking his thumb toward the sea. " Get on with you, 
Simon." 



CHAPTER THREE 

Smith 

IjrOODWIN and the ardent patriot, Za valla, took 
all the precautions that their foresight could contrive 
to prevent the escape of President Miraflores and his 
companion. They sent trusted messengers up the 
coast to Solitas and Alazan to warn the local leaders 
of the flight, and to instruct them to patrol the water 
line and arrest the fugitives at all hazards should 
they reveal themselves in that territory. After this 
was done there remained only to cover the district 
about Coralio and await the coming of the quarry. 
The nets were well spread. The roads were so few, 
the opportunities for embarkation so limited, and the 
two or three probable points of exit so well guarded 
that it would be strange indeed if there should slip 



Smith 49 

through the meshes so much of the country's dignity, 
romance, and collateral. The president would, with- 
out doubt, move as secretly as possible, and en- 
deavour to board a vessel by stealth from some 
secluded point along the shore. 

On the fourth day after the receipt of Englehart's 
telegram the Karlsefin, a Norwegian steamer char- 
tered by the New Orleans fruit trade, anchored off 
Coralio with three hoarse toots of her siren. The 
Karlsefin was not one of the line operated by the 
Vesuvius Fruit Company. She was something of a 
dilettante, doing odd jobs for a company that was 
scarcely important enough to figure as a rival to the 
Vesuvius. The movements of the Karlsefin were 
dependent upon the state of the market. Sometimes 
she would ply steadily between the Spanish Main 
and New Orleans in the regular transport of fruit; 
next she would be making erratic trips to Mobile 
or Charleston, or even as far north as New York, 
according to the distribution of the fruit supply. 

Goodwin lounged upon the beach with the usual 
crowd of idlers that had gathered to view the steamer. 
Now that President Miraflores might be expected to 



50 Cabbages and Kings 

reach the borders of his abjured country at any time, 
the orders were to keep a strict and unrelenting watch. 
Every vessel that approached the shores might now be 
considered a possible means of escape for the fugi- 
tives; and an eye was kept even on the sloops and 
dories that belonged to the sea-going contingent of 
Coralio. Goodwin and Zavalla moved everywhere, 
but without ostentation, watching the loopholes of 
escape. 

The customs officials crowded importantly into 
their boat and rowed out to the Karlsefin. A boat 
from the steamer landed her purser with his papers, 
and took out the quarantine doctor with his green 
umbrella and clinical thermometer. Next a swarm 
of Caribs began to load upon lighters the thousands 
of bunches of bananas heaped upon the shore and 
row them out to the steamer. The Karlsefin had no 
passenger list, and was soon done with the attention 
of the authorities. The purser declared that the 
steamer would remain at anchor until morning, tak- 
ing on her fruit during the night. The Karlsefin had 
come, he said, from New York, to which port her 
latest load of oranges and cocoanuts had been con- 



Smith 51 

veyed. Two or three of the freighter sloops were 
engaged to assist in the work, for the captain was 
anxious to make a quick return in order to reap the 
advantage offered by a certain dearth of fruit in the 
States. 

About four o'clock in the afternoon another of 
those marine monsters, not very familiar in those 
waters, hove in sight, following the fateful Idalia — a 
graceful steam yacht, painted a light buff, clean-cut 
as a steel engraving. The beautiful vessel hovered 
off shore, see-sawing the waves as lightly as a duck 
in a rain barrel. A swift boat manned by a crew 
in uniform came ashore, and a stocky-built man 
leaped to the sands. 

The new-comer seemed to turn a disapproving 
eye upon the rather motley congregation of native 
Anchurians, and made his way at once toward Good- 
win, who was the most conspicuously Anglo-Saxon 
figure present. Goodwin greeted him with courtesy. 

Conversation developed that the newly landed one 
was named Smith, and that he had come in a yacht. 
A meagre biography, truly; for the yacht was most 
apparent; and the "Smith" not beyond a reasonable 



52 Cabbages and Kings 

guess before the revelation. Yet to the eye of Good- 
win, who had seen several things, there was a dis- 
crepancy between Smith and his yacht. A bullet- 
headed man Smith was, with an oblique, dead eye 
and the moustache of a cocktail-mixer. And unless 
he had shifted costumes before putting off for shore 
he had affronted the deck of his correct vessel clad 
in a pearl-gray derby, a gay plaid suit and vaudeville 
neckwear. Men owning pleasure yachts generally 
harmonize better with them. 

Smith looked business, but he was no advertiser. 
He commented upon the scenery, remarking upon its 
fidelity to the pictures in the geography; and then in- 
quired for the United States consul. Goodwin 
pointed out the starred-and-striped bunting hanging 
above the little consulate, which was concealed be- 
hind the orange-trees. 

" Mr. Geddie, the consul, will be sure to be there," 
said Goodwin. " He was very nearly drowned a few 
days ago while taking a swim in the sea, and the 
doctor has ordered him to remain indoors for some 
time." 

Smith plowed his way through the sand to the con- 



Smith 53 

sulate, his haberdashery creating violent discord 
against the smooth tropical blues and greens. 

Geddie was lounging in his hammock, somewhat 
pale of face and languid in pose. On that night 
when the Valhalla s boat had brought him ashore 
apparently drenched to death by the sea, Doctor 
Gregg and his other friends had toiled for hours to 
preserve the little spark of life that remained to him. 
The bottle, with its impotent message, was gone out 
to sea, and the problem that it had provoked was 
reduced to a simple sum in addition — one and one 
make two, by the rule of arithmetic; one by the 
rule of romance. 

There is a quaint old theory that man may have 
two souls — a peripheral one which serves ordinarily, 
and a central one which is stirred only at certain 
times, but then with activity and vigour. While under 
the domination of the former a man will shave, vote, 
pay taxes, give money to his family, buy subscription 
books and comport himself on the average plan. But 
let the central soul suddenly become dominant, and 
he may, in the twinkling of an eye, turn upon the part- 
ner of his joys with furious execration ; he may change 



54 Cabbages and Kings 

his politics while you could snap your fingers; he 
may deal out deadly insult to his dearest friend; he 
may get him, instanter, to a monastery or a dance 
hall; he may elope, or hang himself — or he may 
write a song or poem, or kiss his wife unasked, or give 
his funds to the search of a microbe. Then the pe- 
ripheral soul will return ; and we have our safe, sane 
citizen again. It is but the revolt of the Ego against 
Order; and its effect is to shake up the atoms only 
that they may settle where they belong. 

Geddie's revulsion had been a mild one — no 
more than a swim in a summer sea after so inglorious 
an object as a drifting bottle. And now he was him- 
self again. Upon his desk, ready for the post, was a 
letter to his government tendering his resignation as 
consul, to be effective as soon as another could be 
appointed in his place. For Bernard Bran- 
nigan, who never did things in a half-way man- 
ner, was to take Geddie at once for a partner in 
his very profitable and various enterprises; and 
Paula was happily engaged in plans for refurnish- 
ing and decorating the upper story of the Brannigan 
house. 



Smith 55 

The consul rose from his hammock when he saw 
the conspicuous stranger in his door. 

"Keep your seat old man," said the visitor, with 
an airy wave of his large hand. " My name's Smith ; 
and I've come in a yacht. You are the consul — is 
that right? A big, cool guy on the beach directed 
me here. Thought I'd pay my respects to the flag." 

"Sit down," said Geddie. "I've been admiring 
your craft ever since it came in sight. Looks like a 
fast sailer. What's her tonnage ? " 

"Search me!" said Smith. "I don't know what 
she weighs in at. But she's got a tidy gait. The 
Rambler — that's her name — don't take the dust 
of anything afloat. This is my first trip on her. 
I'm taking a squint along this coast just to get 
an idea of the countries where the rubber and red 
pepper and revolutions come from. I had no 
idea there was so much scenery down here. Why, 
Central Park ain't in it with this neck of the 
woods. I'm from New York. They get monkeys, 
and cocoanuts, and parrots down here — is that 
right?" 

"We have them all," said Geddie. "I'm quite 



56 Cabbages and Kings 

sure that our fauna and flora would take a prize over 

Central Park." 

" Maybe they would," admitted Smith, cheerfully. 
"I haven't seen them yet. But I guess you've got 
us skinned on the animal and vegetation question. 
You don't have much travel here, do you ? " 

"Travel?" queried the consul. "I suppose you 
mean passengers on the steamers. No; very few 
people land in Coralio. An investor now and then — 
tourists and sight-seers generally go further down the 
coast to one of the larger towns where there is a har- 
bour. " 

" I see a ship out there loading up with bananas," 
said Smith. " Any passengers come on her ? " 

"That's the Karlsefin" said the consul. "She's 
a tramp fruiter — made her last trip to New York, 
I believe. No; she brought no passengers. I saw 
her boat come ashore, and there was no one. About 
the only exciting recreation we have here is watching 
steamers when they arrive; and a passenger on one of 
them generally causes the whole town to turn out. 
If you are going to remain in Coralio a while, Mr. 
Smith, I'll be glad to take you around to meet some 



Smith 57 

people. There are four or five American chaps that 
are good to know, besides the native high-fliers." 

"Thanks," said the yachtsman, "but I wouldn't 
put you to the trouble. I'd like to meet the guys you 
speak of, but I won't be here long enough to do much 
knocking around. That cool gent on the beach 
spoke of a doctor; can you tell me where I could find 
him? The Rambler ain't quite as steady on her 
feet as a Broadway hotel; and a fellow gets a touch 
of seasickness now and then. Thought I'd strike 
the croaker for a handful of the little sugar pills, in 
case I need 'em." 

"You will be apt to find Dr. Gregg at the hotel," 
said the consul. " You can see it from the door — 
it's that two-story building with the balcony, where 
the orange-trees are." 

The Hotel de los Estranjeros was a dreary hostelry, 
in great disuse both by strangers and friends. It 
stood at a corner of the Street of the Holy Sepul- 
chre. A grove of small orange-trees crowded against 
one side of it, enclosed by a low, rock wall over which 
a tall man might easily step. The house was of 
plastered adobe, stained a hundred shades of colour 



58 Cabbages and Kings 

by the salt breeze and the sun. Upon its upper bal- 
cony opened a central door and two windows con- 
taining broad jalousies instead of sashes. 

The lower floor communicated by two doorways 
with the narrow, rock-paved sidewalk. The jml- 
peria — or drinking shop — of the proprietress, Ma- 
dama Timotea Ortiz, occupied the ground floor. On 
the bottles of brandy, anisada, Scotch " smoke " and 
inexpensive wines behind the little counter the dust 
lay thick save where the fingers of infrequent cus- 
tomers had left irregular prints. The upper story 
contained four or five guest-rooms which were rarely 
put to their destined use. Sometimes a fruit-grower, 
riding in from his plantation to confer with his agent, 
would pass a melancholy night in the dismal upper 
story; sometimes a minor native official on some 
trifling government quest would have his pomp and 
majesty awed by Madama's sepulchral hospitality. 
But Madama sat behind her bar content, not desir- 
ing to quarrel with Fate. If anyone required meat, 
drink or lodging at the Hotel de los Estranjeros they 
had but to come, and be served. Estd bueno. If 
they came not, why, then, they came not. Estd bueno. 



Smith 59 

As the exceptional yachtsman was making his way 
down the precarious sidewalk of the Street of the Holy 
Sepulchre, the solitary permanent guest of that decay- 
ing hotel sat at its door, enjoying the breeze from the 
sea. 

Dr. Gregg, the quarantine physician, was a man 
of fifty or sixty, with a florid face and the longest 
beard between Topeka and Terra del Fuego. He 
held his position by virtue of an appointment by the 
Board of Health of a seaport city in one of the South- 
ern states. That city feared the ancient enemy of 
every Southern seaport — the yellow fever — and it 
was the duty of Dr. Gregg to examine crew and pas- 
sengers of every vessel leaving Coralio for prelim- 
inary symptoms. The duties were light, and the 
salary, for one who lived in Coralio, ample. Surplus 
time there was in plenty; and the good doctor added 
to his gains by a large private practice among the 
residents of the coast. The fact that he did not 
know ten words of Spanish was no obstacle ; a pulse 
could be felt and a fee collected without one being 
a linguist. Add to the description the facts that the 
doctor had a story to tell concerning the operation 



60 Cabbages and Kings 

of trepanning which no listener had ever allowed him 
to conclude, and that he believed in brandy as a pro- 
phylactic; and the special points of interest possessed 
by Dr. Gregg will have become exhausted. 

The doctor had dragged a chair to the sidewalk. 
He was coatless, and he leaned back against the wall 
and smoked, while he stroked his beard. Surprise 
came into his pale blue eyes when he caught sight 
of Smith in his unusual and prismatic clothes. 

" You're Dr. Gregg — is that right ? " said Smith, 
feeling the dog's head pin in his tie. " The constable 
— I mean the consul, told me you hung out at this 
caravansary. My name's Smith; and I came in a 
yacht. Taking a cruise around, looking at the mon- 
keys and pineapple-trees. Come inside and have a 
drink, Doc. This cafe looks on the blink, but J 
guess it can set out something wet." 

"I will join you, sir, in just a taste of brandy," 
said Dr. Gregg, rising quickly. "I find that as a 
prophylactic a little brandy is almost a necessity in 
this climate." 

As they turned to enter the pulperia a native man, 
barefoot, glided noiselessly up and addressed the 



Smith 61 

doctor in Spanish. He was yellowish-brown, like 
an over-ripe lemon; he wore a cotton shirt and rag- 
ged linen trousers girded by a leather belt. His face 
was like an animal's, live and wary, but without 
promise of much intelligence. This man jabbered 
with animation and so much seriousness that it 
seemed a pity that his words were to be wasted. 

Dr. Gregg felt his pulse. 

" You sick ? " he inquired. 

"Mi mujer estd enferma en la casa" said the man, 
thus endeavouring to convey the news, in the only 
language open to him, that his wife lay ill in her palm- 
thatched hut. 

The doctor drew a handful of capsules filled with 
a white powder from his trousers pocket. He 
counted out ten of them into the native's hand, and 
held up his forefinger impressively. 

" Take one," said the doctor, " every two hours." 
He then held up two fingers, shaking them emphati- 
cally before the native's face. Next he pulled out 
his watch and ran his finger round its dial twice. 
Again the two fingers confronted the patient's nose. 
" Two — two — two hours," repeated the doctor. 



62 Cabbages and Kings 

" Si, Senor," said the native, sadly. 

He pulled a cheap silver watch from his own pocket 
and laid it in the doctor's hand. " Me bring," said 
he, struggling painfully with his scant English, " other 
watchy to-morrow." Then he departed down-heart- 
edly with his capsules. 

"A very ignorant race of people, sir," said the 
doctor, as he slipped the watch into his pocket. 
"He seems to have mistaken my directions for 
taking the physic for the fee. However, it is all 
right. He owes me an account, anyway. The 
chances are that he won't bring the other watch. 
You can't depend on anything they promise you. 
About that drink, now? How did you come 
to Coralio, Mr. Smith? I was not aware that 
any boats except the Karlsefin had arrived for 
some days." 

The two leaned against the deserted bar; and Ma- 
dama set out a bottle without waiting for the doctor's 
order. There was no dust on it. 

After they had drank twice Smith said : 

"You say there were no passengers on the Karl- 
sefin, Doc ? Are you sure about that ? It seems to 



Smith 63 

me I heard somebody down on the beach say that 
there was one or two aboard." 

"They were mistaken, sir. I myself went out 
and put all hands through a medical examination, as 
usual. The Karlsefin sails as soon as she gets her 
bananas loaded, which will be about daylight in the 
morning, and she got everything ready this after- 
noon. No, sir, there was no passenger list. Like 
that Three-Star? A French schooner landed two 
slooploads of it a month ago. If any customs duties 
on it went to the distinguished republic of Anchuria 
you may have my hat. If you won't have another, 
come out and let's sit in the cool a while. It isn't 
often we exiles get a chance to talk with somebody 
from the outside world." 

The doctor brought out another chair to the side- 
walk for his new acquaintance. The two seated 
themselves. 

"You are a man of the world," said Dr. Gregg; 
" a man of travel and experience. Your decision in 
a matter of ethics and, no doubt, on the points of 
equity, ability and professional probity should be of 
value. I would be glad if you will listen to the his- 



64 Cabbages and Kings 

tory of a case that I think stands unique in medical 

annals. 

" About nine years ago, while I was engaged in the 
practice of medicine in my native city, I was called 
to treat a case of contusion of the skull. I made the 
diagnosis that a splinter of bone was pressing upon 
the brain, and that the surgical operation known 
as trepanning was required. However, as the patient 
was a gentleman of wealth and position, I called in for 
consultation Dr. — " 

Smith rose from his chair, and laid a hand, soft 
with apology, upon the doctor's shirt sleeve. 

"Say, Doc," he said, solemnly, "I want to hear 
that story. You've got me interested; and I don't 
want to miss the rest of it. I know it's a loola by the 
way it begins ; and I want to tell it at the next meeting 
of the Barney O'Flynn Association, if you don't mind. 
But I've got one or two matters to attend to first. If 
I get 'em attended to in time I'll come right back and 
hear you spiel the rest before bedtime — is that 
right?" 

"By all means," said the doctor, "get your busi- 
ness attended to, and then return. I shall wait up 



Smith 65 

for you. You see, one of the most prominent phy- 
sicians at the consultation diagnosed the trouble as 
a blood clot; another said it was an abscess, but I — " 

"Don't tell me now, Doc. Don't spoil the story. 
Wait till I come back. I want to hear it as it runs 
off the reel — is that right ? " 

The mountains reached up their bulky shoulders 
to receive the level gallop of Apollo's homing 
steeds, the day died in the lagoons and in the shad- 
owed banana groves and in the mangrove swamps, 
where the great blue crabs were beginning to crawl to 
land for their nightly ramble. And it died, at last, 
upon the highest peaks. Then the brief twilight, 
ephemeral as the flight of a moth, came and went; 
the Southern Cross peeped with its topmost eye above 
a row of palms, and the fire-flies heralded with their 
torches the approach of soft-footed night. 

In the offing the Karlsefin swayed at anchor, her 
lights seeming to penetrate the water to countless 
fathoms with their shimmering, lanceolate reflec- 
tions. The Caribs were busy loading her by means 
of the great lighters heaped full from the piles of 
fruit ranged upon the shore. 



66 Cabbages and Kings 

On the sandy beach, with his back against a cocoa- 
nut-tree and the stubs of many cigars lying around 
him, Smith sat waiting, never relaxing his sharp gaze 
in the direction of the steamer. 

The incongruous yachtsman had concentrated 
his interest upon the innocent fruiter. Twice 
had he been assured that no passengers had come 
to Coralio on board of her. And yet, with a per- 
sistence not to be attributed to an idling voyager, 
he had appealed the case to the higher court 
of his own eyesight. Surprisingly like some gay- 
coated lizard, he crouched at the foot of the cocoa- 
nut palm, and with the beady, shifting eyes of 
the selfsame reptile, sustained his espionage on 
the Karlsefin. 

On the white sands a whiter gig belonging to the 
yacht was drawn up, guarded by one of the white- 
ducked crew. Not far away in a pulperia on the 
shore-following Calle Grande three other sailors swag- 
gered with their cues around Coralio's solitary bil- 
liard-table. The boat lay there as if under orders 
to be ready for use at any moment. There was 
in the atmosphere a hint of expectation, of waiting 



Smith 67 

for something to occur, which was foreign to the air 
of Coralio. 

Like some passing bird of brilliant plumage, Smith 
alights on this palmy shore but to preen his wings for 
an instant and then to fly away upon silent pinions. 
When morning dawned there was no Smith, no wait- 
ing gig, no yacht in the offing. Smith left no inti- 
mation of his mission there, no footprints to show 
where he had followed the trail of his mystery on the 
sands of Coralio that night. He came; he spake his 
strange jargon of the asphalt and the cafes; he sat 
under the cocoanut-tree, and vanished. The next 
morning Coralio, Smithless, ate its fried plantain and 
said: "The man of pictured clothing went him- 
self away." With the siesta the incident passed, 
yawning, into history. 

So, for a time, must Smith pass behind the scenes 
of the play. He comes no more to Coralio nor to 
Doctor Gregg, who sits in vain, wagging his redund- 
ant beard, waiting to enrich his derelict audience 
with his moving tale of trepanning and jealousy. 

But prosperously to the lucidity of these loose 
pages, Smith shall flutter among them again. In the 



68 Cabbages and Kings 

nick of time he shall come to tell us why he strewed 
so many anxious cigar stumps around the cocoanut 
palm that night. This he must do; for, when he 
sailed away before the dawn in his yacht Rambler, 
he carried with him the answer to a riddle so big 
and preposterous that few in Anchuria had ven- 
tured even to propound it. 



CHAPTER FOUR 

Caught 



1 HE plans for the detention of the flying President 
Miraflores and his companion at the coast line seemed 
hardly likely to fail. Dr. Zavalla himself had gone 
to the port of Alazan to establish a guard at that 
point. At Coralio the Liberal patriot Varras could 
be depended upon to keep close watch. Good- 
win held himself responsible for the district about 
Coralio. 

The news of the president's flight had been dis- 
closed to no one in the coast towns save trusted mem- 
bers of the ambitious political party that was desir- 
ous of succeeding to power. The telegraph wire 
running from San Mateo to the coast had been cut 
far up on the mountain trail by an emissary of 



70 Cabbages and Kings 

Za valla's. Long before this could be repaired and 
word received along it from the capital the fugitives 
would have reached the coast and the question of 
escape or capture been solved. 

Goodwin had stationed armed sentinels at fre- 
quent intervals along the shore for a mile in each 
direction from Coralio. They were instructed to 
keep a vigilant lookout during the night to prevent 
Miraflores from attempting to embark stealthily by 
means of some boat or sloop found by chance at the 
water's edge. A dozen patrols walked the streets of 
Coralio unsuspected, ready to intercept the truant 
official should he show himself there. 

Goodwin was very well convinced that no pre- 
cautions had been overlooked. He strolled about 
the streets that bore such high-sounding names and 
were but narrow, grass-covered lanes, lending his 
own aid to the vigil that had been intrusted to him 
by Bob Englehart. 

The town had begun the tepid round of its nightly 
diversions. A few leisurely dandies, clad in white 
duck, with flowing neckties, and swinging slim bam- 
boo canes, threaded the grassy by-ways toward the 



Caught 71 

houses of their favoured senoritas. Those who 
wooed the art of music dragged tirelessly at whining 
concertinas, or fingered lugubrious guitars at doors 
and windows. An occasional soldier from the cuar- 
tel, with flapping straw hat, without coat or shoes, 
hurried by, balancing his long gun like a lance in one 
hand. From every density of the foliage the giant 
tree frogs sounded their loud and irritating clatter. 
Further out, where the by-ways perished at the brink 
of the jungle, the guttural cries of marauding bab- 
oons and the coughing of the alligators in the black 
estuaries fractured the vain silence of the wood. 

By ten o'clock the streets were deserted. The oil 
lamps that had burned, a sickly yellow, at random 
corners, had been extinguished by some economical 
civic agent. Coralio lay sleeping camly between top- 
pling mountains and encroaching sea like a stolen 
babe in the arms of its abductors. Somewhere over 
in that tropical darkness — perhaps already threading 
the profundities of the alluvial lowlands — the high 
adventurer and his mate were moving toward land's 
end. The game of Fox-in-the-Morning should be 
coming soon to its close. 



72 Cabbages and Kings 

Goodwin, at his deliberate gait, passed the long, 
low cuartel where Coralio's contingent of Anchuria's 
military force slumbered, with its bare toes pointed 
heavenward. There was a law that no civilian might 
come so near the headquarters of that citadel of war 
after nine o'clock, but Goodwin was always forget- 
ting the minor statutes. 

" Quien vive?" shrieked the sentinel, wrestling 
prodigiously with his lengthy musket. 

" Americano, " growled Goodwin, without turning 
his head, and passed on, unhalted. 

To the right he turned, and to the left up the street 
that ultimately reached the Plaza Nacional. When 
within the toss of a cigar stump from the intersecting 
Street of the Holy Sepulchre, he stopped suddenly 
in the pathway. 

He saw the form of a tall man, clothed in black and 
carrying a large valise, hurry down the cross-street in 
the direction of the beach. And Goodwin's second 
glance made him aware of a woman at the man's el- 
bow on the farther side, who seemed to urge forward, 
if not even to assist, her companion in their swift but 
silent progress. They were no Coralians, those two. 



Caught 73 

Goodwin followed at increased speed, but without 
any of the artful tactics that are so dear to the heart of 
the sleuth. The American was too broad to feel the 
instinct of the detective. He stood as an agent for 
the people of Anchuria, and but for political reasons 
he would have demanded then and there the money. 
It was the design of his party to secure the imperilled 
fund, to restore it to the treasury of the country, and 
to declare itself in power without bloodshed or resist- 
ance. 

The couple halted at the door of the Hotel de los 
Estranjeros, and the man struck upon the wood with 
the impatience of one unused to his entry being 
stayed. Madama was long in response; but after a 
time her light showed, the door was opened, and the 
guests housed. 

Goodwin stood in the quiet street, lighting another 
cigar. In two minutes a faint gleam began to show 
between the slats of the jalousies in the upper story of 
the hotel. " They have engaged rooms, " said Good- 
win to himself. "So, then, their arrangements for 
sailing have yet to be made. " 

At that moment there came along one Esteban 



74 Cabbages and Kings 

Delgado, a barber, an enemy to existing govern- 
ment, a jovial plotter against stagnation in any 
form. This barber was one of Coralio's saddest 
dogs, often remaining out of doors as late as 
eleven, post meridian. He was a partisan Liberal; 
and he greeted Goodwin with flatulent importance 
as a brother in the cause. But he had something 
important to tell. 

"What think you, Don Frank!" he cried, in the 
universal tone of the conspirator. " I have to-night 
shaved la barba — what you call the ' weeskers' of the 
Presidente himself, of this countree ! Consider! He 
sent for me to come. In the poor casita of an old 
woman he awaited me — in a verree leetle house in 
a dark place. Carramba 1 — el Senor Presidente to 
make himself thus secret and obscured ! I think he 
desired not to be known — but, carajo! can you 
shave a man and not see his face ? This gold piece 
he gave me, and said it was to be all quite still. I 
think, Don Frank, there is what you call a chip over 
the bug." 

" Have you ever seen President Miraflores before ? " 
asked Goodwin. 



Caught 75 

" But once, " answered Esteban. u He is tall; and 
he had weeskers, verree black and sufficient. " 
" Was anyone else present when you shaved him ?" 
" An old Indian woman, Sefior, that belonged with 
the casa, and one senorita — a ladee of so much beau- 
tee ! — ah, Dios ! " 

" All right, Esteban, " said Goodwin. " It's very 
lucky that you happened along with your tonsorial in- 
formation. The new administration will be likely to 
remember you for this. " 

Then in a few words he made the barber acquaint- 
ed with the crisis into which the affairs of the nation 
had culminated, and instructed him to remain out- 
side, keeping watch upon the two sides of the hotel 
that looked upon the street, and observing whether 
anyone should attempt to leave the house by any door 
or window. Goodwin himself went to the door 
through which the guests had entered, opened it and 
stepped inside. 

Madama had returned downstairs from her jour- 
ney above to see after the comfort of her lodgers. Her 
candle stood upon the bar. She was about to take a 
thimbleful of rum as a solace for having her rest dis- 



76 Cabbages and Kings 

turbed. She looked up without surprise or alarm as 

her third caller entered. 

"Ah! it is the Senor Goodwin. Not often does 
he honour my poor house by his presence. " 

"I must come oftener, " said Goodwin, with the 
Goodwin smile. " I hear that your cognac is the best 
between Belize to the north and Rio to the south. Set 
out the bottle, Madama, and let us have the proof in 
un vasito for each of us. " 

" My aguardiente, " said Madama, with pride, " is 
the best. It grows, in beautiful bottles, in the dark 
places among the banana-trees. Si, Senor. Only at 
midnight can they be picked by sailor-men who bring 
them, before daylight comes, to your back door. Good 
aguardiente is a verree difficult fruit to handle, Senor 
Goodwin. " 

Smuggling, in Coralio, was much nearer than com- 
petition to being the life of trade. One spoke of it 
slyly, yet with a certain conceit, when it had been well 
accomplished. 

"You have guests in the house to-night," said 
Goodwin, laying a silver dollar upon the counter. 

" Why not ? " said Madama, counting the change. 



Caught 77 

" Two; but the smallest while'finished to arrive. One 
senor, not quite old, and one sefiorita of sufficient 
handsomeness. To their rooms they have ascended, 
not desiring the to-eat nor the to-drink. Two rooms 
— Numero 9 and Numero 10. " 

" I was expecting that gentleman and that lady, " 
said Goodwin. "I have important negocios that 
must be transacted. Will you allow me to see 
them?" 

"Why not?" sighed Madama, placidly. "Why 
should not Senor Goodwin ascend and speak to his 
friends ? Estd bueno. Room Numero 9 and room 
Numero 10." 

Goodwin loosened in his coat pocket the American 
revolver that he carried, and ascended the steep, dark 
stairway. 

In the hallway above, the saffron light from a hang- 
ing lamp allowed him to select the gaudy numbers 
on the doors. He turned the knob of Number 9, 
entered and closed the door behind him. 

If that was Isabel Guilbert seated by the table in 
that poorly furnished room, report had failed to do 
her charms justice. She rested her head upon one 



78 Cabbages and Kings 

hand. Extreme fatigue was signified in every line of 
her figure; and upon her countenance a deep per- 
plexity was written. Her eyes were gray-irised, and 
of that mould that seems to have belonged to the orbs 
of all the famous queens of hearts . Their whites were 
singularly clear and brilliant, concealed above the 
irises by heavy horizontal lids, and showing a snowy 
line below them. Such eyes denote great nobility, 
vigour, and, if you can conceive of it, a most generous 
selfishness. She looked up when the American en- 
tered, with an expression of surprised inquiry, but 
without alarm. 

Goodwin took off his hat and seated himself, with 
his characteristic deliberate ease, upon a corner of the 
table. He held a lighted cigar between his fingers. 
He took this familiar course because he was sure that 
preliminaries would be wasted upon Miss Guilbert. 
He knew her history, and the small part that the con- 
ventions had played in it. 

"Good evening," he said. "Now, madame, let 
us come to business at once. You will observe that I 
mention no names, but I know who is in the next 
room, and what he carries in that valise. That is the 



Caught 79 

point which brings me here. I have come to dictate 
terms of surrender. " 

The lady neither moved nor replied, but steadily 
regarded the cigar in Goodwin's hand. 

" We, " continued the dictator, thoughtfully regard- 
ing the neat buckskin shoe on his gently swinging 
foot — "I speak for a considerable majority of the 
people — demand the return of the stolen funds be- 
longing to them. Our terms go very little further 
than that. They are very simple. As an accredited 
spokesman, I promise that our interference will cease 
if they are accepted. Give up the money, and you 
and your companion will be permitted to proceed 
wherever you will. In fact, assistance will be given 
you in the matter of securing a passage by any out- 
going vessel you may choose. It is on my personal 
responsibility that I add congratulations to the gen- 
tleman in Number 10 upon his taste in feminine 
charms. " 

Returning his cigar to his mouth, Goodwin ob- 
served her, and saw that her eyes followed it and 
rested upon it with icy and significant concentration. 
Apparently she had not heard a word he had said. 



80 Cabbages and Kings 

He understood, tossed the cigar out the window, and, 

with an amused laugh, slid from the table to his feet. 

" That is better, " said the lady. " It makes it pos- 
sible for me to listen to you. For a second lesson in 
good manners, you might now tell me by whom I am 
being insulted. " 

" I am sorry, " said Goodwin, leaning one hand on 
the table, "that my time is too brief for devoting 
much of it to a course of etiquette. Come, now; I 
appeal to your good sense. You have shown your- 
self, in more than one instance, to be well aware of 
what is to your advantage. This is an occasion that 
demands the exercise of your undoubted intelligence. 
There is no mystery here. I am Frank Goodwin; 
and I have come for the money. I entered this room 
at a venture. Had I entered the other I would have 
had it before now. Do you want it in words ? The 
gentleman in Number 10 has betrayed a great trust. 
He has robbed his people of a large sum, and it is I 
who will prevent their losing it. I do not say who 
that gentleman is ; but if I should be forced to see him 
and he should prove to be a certain high official of the 
republic, it will be my duty to arrest him. The house 



Caught 81 

is guarded. I am offering you liberal terms. It is 
not absolutely necessary that I confer personally with 
the gentleman in the next room. Bring me the valise 
containing the money, and we will call the affair 
ended." 

The lady arose from her chair and stood for a mo- 
ment, thinking deeply. 

"Do you live here, Mr. Goodwin ?" she asked, 
presently. 

"Yes." 

" What is your authority for this intrusion ? " 

"I am an instrument of the republic. I was ad- 
vised by wire of the movements of the — gentleman 
in Number 10. " 

" May I ask you two or three questions ? I be- 
lieve you to be a man more apt to be truthful than — 
timid. What sort of a town is this — Coralio, I 
think they call it?" 

"Not much of a town," said Goodwin, smiling. 
" A banana town, as they run. Grass huts, 'dobes, 
five or six two-story houses, accommodations limited, 
population half-breed Spanish and Indian, Caribs 
and blackamoors. No sidewalks to speak of, no 



82 Cabbages and Kings 

amusements. Rather unmoral. That's an offhand 
sketch, of course. " 

"Are there any inducements, say in a social or in a 
business way, for people to reside here ? " 

"Oh, yes," answered Goodwin, smiling broadly. 
" There are no afternoon teas, no hand-organs, no de- 
partment stores — and there is no extradition treaty." 

" He told me, " went on the lady, speaking as if to 
herself, and with a slight frown, "that there were 
towns on this coast of beauty and importance; that 
there was a pleasing social order — especially an 
American colony of cultured residents. " 

"There is an American colony," said Goodwin, 
gazing at her in some wonder. " Some of the mem- 
bers are all right. Some are fugitives from justice 
from the States. I recall two exiled bank presidents, 
one army paymaster under a cloud, a couple of man- 
slayers, and a widow — arsenic, I believe, was the sus- 
picion in her case. I myself complete the colony, 
but, as yet, I have not distinguished myself by any 
particular crime. " 

"Do not lose hope," said the lady, dryly; "I see 
nothing in your actions to-night to guarantee you fur- 



Caught 83 

ther obscurity. Some mistake has been made ; I do 
not know just where. But him you shall not disturb 
to-night. The journey has fatigued him so that he 
has fallen asleep, I think, in his clothes. You talk of 
stolen money! I do not understand you. Some 
mistake has been made. I will convince you. Re- 
main where you are and I will bring you the valise 
that you seem to covet so, and show it to you. " 

She moved toward the closed door that connected 
the two rooms, but stopped, and half turned and be- 
stowed upon Goodwin a grave, searching look that 
ended in a quizzical smile. 

"You force my door," she said, "and you follow 
your ruffianly behaviour with the basest accusations ; 
and yet " — she hesitated, as if to reconsider what she 
was about to say — " and yet — it is a puzzling thing 
— I am sure there has been some mistake. " 

She took a step toward the door, but Goodwin 
stayed her by a light touch upon her arm. I have 
said before that women turned to look at him in the 
streets. He was the viking sort of man, big, good- 
looking, and with an air of kindly truculence. She 
was dark and proud, glowing or pale as her mood 



84 Cabbages and Kings 

moved her. I do not know if Eve were light or dark, 
but if such a woman had stood in the garden I know 
that the apple would have been eaten. This woman 
was to be Goodwin's fate, and he did not know it; but 
he must have felt the first throes of destiny, for, as he 
faced her, the knowledge of what report named her 
turned bitter in his throat. 

" If there has been any mistake," he said, hotly, " it 
was yours. I do not blame the man who has lost his 
country, his honour, and is about to lose the poor con- 
solation of his stolen riches as much as I blame you, 
for, by Heaven! I can very well see how he was 
brought to it. I can understand, and pity him. It is 
such women as you that strew this degraded coast 
with wretched exiles, that make men forget their 
trusts, that drag — " 

The lady interrupted him with a weary gesture. 

" There is no need to continue your insults, " she 
said, coldly. "I do not understand what you are 
saying, nor do I know what mad blunder you are 
making; but if the inspection of the contents of a 
gentleman's portmanteau will rid me of you, let us 
delay it no longer. " 



Caught 85 

She passed quickly and noiselessly into the other 
room, and returned with the heavy leather valise, 
which she handed to the American with an air of pa- 
tient contempt. 

Goodwin set the valise quickly upon the table and 
began to unfasten the straps. The lady stood by, 
with an expression of infinite scorn and weariness 
upon her face. 

The valise opened wide to a powerful, sidelong 
wrench. Goodwin dragged out two or three articles 
of clothing, exposing the bulk of its contents — pack- 
age after package of tightly packed United States 
bank and treasury notes of large denomination. 
Reckoning from the high figures written upon the 
paper bands that bound them, the total must have 
come closely upon the hundred thousand mark. 

Goodwin glanced swiftly at the woman, and saw, 
with surprise and a thrill of pleasure that he wondered 
at, that she had experienced an unmistakable shock. 
Her eyes grew wide, she gasped, and leaned heavily 
against the table. She had been ignorant, then, he 
inferred, that her companion had looted the govern- 
ment treasury. But why, he angrily asked himself, 



86 Cabbages and Kings 

should he be so well pleased to think this wandering 
and unscrupulous singer not so black as report had 
painted her? 

A noise in the other room startled them both. The 
door swung open, and a tall, elderly, dark complex- 
ioned man, recently shaven, hurried into the room. 

All the pictures of President Miraflores represent 
him as the possessor of a luxuriant supply of dark and 
carefully tended whiskers; but the story of the bar- 
ber, Esteban, had prepared Goodwin for the change. 

The man stumbled in from the dark room, his eyes 
blinking at the lamplight, and heavy from sleep. 

" What does this mean ? " he demanded in excel- 
lent English, with a keen and perturbed look at the 
American — " robbery ? " 

"Very near it," answered Goodwin. "But I 
rather think I'm in time to prevent it. I represent 
the people to whom this money belongs, and I have 
come to convey it back to them." He thrust his 
hand into a pocket of his loose, linen coat. 

The other man's hand went quickly behind him. 

"Don't draw," called Goodwin, sharply; "I've 
got you covered from my pocket. " 



Caught 87 

The lady stepped forward, and laid one hand upon 
the shoulder of her hesitating companion. She 
pointed to the table. "Tell me the truth — the 
truth, " she said, in a low voice. " Whose money is 
that?" 

The man did not answer. He gave a deep, long- 
drawn sigh, leaned and kissed her on the forehead, 
stepped back into the other room and closed the door. 

Goodwin foresaw his purpose, and jumped for the 
door, but the report of the pistol echoed as his hand 
touched the knob. A heavy fall followed, and some 
one swept him aside and struggled into the room of 
the fallen man. 

A desolation, thought Goodwin, greater than that 
derived from the loss of cavalier and gold must have 
been in the heart of the enchantress to have wrung 
from her, in that moment, the cry of one turning to 
the all-forgiving, all-comforting earthly consoler — to 
have made her call out from that bloody and dishon- 
oured room — "Oh, mother, mother, mother!" 

But there was an alarm outside. The barber, Es- 
teban, at the sound of the shot, had raised his voice; 
and the shot itself had aroused half the town. A pat- 



88 Cabbages and Kings 

tering of feet came up the street, and official orders 
rang out on the still air. Goodwin had a duty to per- 
form. Circumstances had made him the custodian 
of his adopted country's treasure. Swiftly cramming 
the money into the valise, he closed it, leaned far 
out of the window and dropped it into a thick orange- 
tree in the little inclosure below. 

They will tell you in Coralio, as they delight in tell- 
ing the stranger, of the conclusion of that tragic 
flight. They will tell you how the upholders of the 
law came apace when the alarm was sounded — the 
Comandante in red slippers and a jacket like a head 
waiter's and girded sword, the soldiers with their in- 
terminable guns, followed by outnumbering officers 
struggling into their gold lace and epaulettes; the 
barefooted policemen (the only capables in the lot), 
and ruffled citizens of every hue and description. 

They say that the countenance of the dead man was 
marred sadly by the effects of the shot; but he was 
identified as the fallen president by both Goodwin 
and the barber Esteban. On the next morning mes- 
sages began to come over the mended telegraph wire; 



Caught 89 

and the story of the flight from the capital was given 
out to the public. In San Mateo the revolutionary 
party had seized the sceptre of government, without 
opposition, and the vivas of the mercurial populace 
quickly effaced the interest belonging to the unfor- 
tunate Miraflores. 

They will relate to you how the new government 
sifted the towns and raked the roads to find the valise 
containing Anchuria's surplus capital, which the pres- 
ident was known to have carried with him, but all in 
vain. In Coralio Sefior Goodwin himself led the 
searching party which combed that town as carefully 
as a woman combs her hair; but the money was not 
found. 

So they buried the dead man, without honours, 
back of the town near the little bridge that spans the 
mangrove swamp; and for a real a boy will show you 
his grave. They say that the old woman in whose 
hut the barber shaved the president placed the wooden 
slab at his head, and burned the inscription upon it 
with a hot iron. 

You will hear also that Sefior Goodwin, like a 
tower of strength, shielded Dona Isabel Guilbert 



90 Cabbages and Kings 

through those subsequent distressful days; and that 
his scruples as to her past career (if he had any) van- 
ished; and her adventuresome waywardness (if she 
had any) left her, and they were wedded and were 
happy. 

The American built a home on a little foot hill 
near the town. It is a conglomerate structure of na- 
tive woods that, exported, would be worth a fortune, 
and of brick, palm, glass, bamboo and adobe. There 
is a paradise of nature about it; and something of the 
same sort within. The natives speak of its interior 
with hands uplifted in admiration. There are floors 
polished like mirrors and covered with hand-woven 
Indian rugs of silk fibre, tall ornaments and pictures, 
musical instruments and papered walls — " figure-it- 
to-yourself ! " they exclaim. 

But they cannot tell you in Coralio (as you shall 
learn) what became of the money that Frank Good- 
win dropped into the orange-tree. But that shall 
come later; for the palms are fluttering in the breeze, 
bidding us to sport and gaiety. 



CHAPTER FIVE 

Cupid's Exile Number Two 



1 HE United States of America, after looking over 
its stock of consular timber, selected Mr. John De 
Graffenreid Atwood, of Dalesburg, Alabama, for a 
successor to Willard Geddie, resigned. 

Without prejudice to Mr. Atwood, it will have to 
be acknowledged that, in this instance, it was the 
man who sought the office. As with the self-ban- 
ished Geddie, it was nothing less than the artful 
smiles of lovely woman that had driven Johnny At- 
wood to the desperate expedient of accepting office 
under a despised Federal Government so that he 
might go far, far away and never see again the false, 
fair face that had wrecked his young life. The con- 
sulship at Coralio seemed to offer a retreat sufficiently 



92 Cabbages and Kings 

removed and romantic enough to inject the necessary 

drama into the pastoral scenes of Dalesburg life. 

It was while playing the part of Cupid's exile that 
Johnny added his handiwork to the long list of casu- 
alties along the Spanish Main by his famous ma- 
nipulation of the shoe market, and his unparalleled 
feat of elevating the most despised and useless weed 
in his own country from obscurity to be a valuable 
product in international commerce. 

The trouble began, as trouble often begins instead 
of ending, with a romance. In Dalesburg there was 
a man named Elijah Hemstetter, who kept a general 
store. His family consisted of one daughter called 
Rosine, a name that atoned much for "Hemstetter." 
This young woman was possessed of plentiful attrac- 
tions, so that the young men of the community were 
agitated in their bosoms. Among the more agitated 
was Johnny, the son of Judge Atwood, who lived in 
the big colonial mansion on the edge of Dalesburg. 

It would seem that the desirable Rosine should 
have been pleased to return the affection of an At- 
wood, a name honoured all over the state long before 
and since the war. It does seem that she should have 



Cupid's Exile Number Two 93 

gladly consented to have been led into that stately 
but rather empty colonial mansion. But not so. 
There was a cloud on the horizon, a threatening, 
cumulus cloud, in the shape of a lively and shrewd 
young farmer in the neighbourhood who dared to 
enter the lists as a rival to the high-born Atwood. 

One night Johnny propounded to Rosine a ques- 
tion that is considered of much importance by the 
young of the human species. The accessories were 
all there — moonlight, oleanders, magnolias, the 
mock -bird's song. Whether or no the shadow of 
Pinkney Dawson, the prosperous young farmer came 
between them on that occasion is not known; but 
Rosine's answer was unfavourable. Mr. John De 
Graffenried Atwood bowed till his hat touched the 
lawn grass, and went away with his head high, but 
with a sore wound in his pedigree and heart. A 
Hemstetter refuse an Atwood ! Zounds ! 

Among other accidents of that year was a Demo- 
cratic president. Judge Atwood was a warhorse of 
Democracy. Johnny persuaded him to set the 
wheels moving for some foreign appointment. He 
would go away — away. Perhaps in years to come 



94 Cabbages and Kings 

Rosine would think how true, how faithful his love had 
been, and would drop a tear — maybe in the cream she 
would be skimming for Pink Dawson's breakfast. 

The wheels of politics revolved; and Johnny was 
appointed consul to Coralio. Just before leaving 
he dropped in at Hemstetter's to say good-bye. There 
was a queer, pinkish look about Rosine's eyes; and 
had the two been alone, the United States might have 
had to cast about for another consul. But Pink 
Dawson was there, of course, talking about his 400- 
acre orchard, and the three-mile alfalfa tract, and 
the 200-acre pasture. So Johnny shook hands with 
Rosine as coolly as if he were only going to run up 
to Montgomery for a couple of days. They had the 
royal manner when they chose, those Atwoods. 

" If you happen to strike anything in the way of a 
good investment down there, Johnny," said Pink 
Dawson, " just let me know, will you ? I reckon I 
could lay my hands on a few extra thousands 'most 
any time for a profitable deal." 

" Certainly, Pink," said Johnny, pleasantly. " If 
I strike anything of the sort I'll let you in with 
pleasure." 



Cupid's Exile Number Two 95 

So Johnny went down to Mobile and took a fruit 
steamer for the coast of Anchuria. 

When the new consul arrived in Coralio the 
strangeness of the scenes diverted him much. He 
was only twenty-two; and the grief of youth is not 
worn like a garment as it is by older men. It has 
its seasons when it reigns; and then it is unseated 
for a time by the assertion of the keen senses. 

Billy Keogh and Johnny seemed to conceive a 
mutual friendship at once. Keogh took the new 
consul about town and presented him to the hand- 
ful of Americans and the smaller number of French 
and Germans who made up the "foreign" contin- 
gent. And then, of course, he had to be more for- 
mally introduced to the native officials, and have 
his credentials transmitted through an interpreter. 

There was something about the young Southerner 
that the sophisticated Keogh liked. His manner 
was simple almost to boyishness; but he possessed 
the cool carelessness of a man of far greater age and 
experience. Neither uniforms nor titles, red tape 
nor foreign languages, mountains nor sea weighed 
upon his spirits. He was heir to all the ages, an 



96 Cabbages and Kings 

Atwood, of Dalesburg; and you might know every 

thought conceived in his bosom. 

Geddie came down to the consulate to explain the 
duties and workings of the office. He and Keogh 
tried to interest the new consul in their description of 
the work that his government expected him to per- 
form. 

" It's all right," said Johnny from the hammock 
that he had set up as the official reclining place. " If 
anything turns up that has to be done I'll let you 
fellows do it. You can't expect a Democrat to work 
during his first term of holding office." 

" You might look over these headings," suggested 
Geddie, " of the different lines of exports you will 
have to keep account of. The fruit is classified ; and 
there are the valuable woods, coffee, rubber — " 

" That last account sounds all right," interrupted 
Mr. Atwood. " Sounds as if it could be stretched. 
I want to buy a new flag, a monkey, a guitar and 
a barrel of pineapples. Will that rubber account 
stretch over 'em ? " 

"That's merely statistics," said Geddie, smiling. 
"The expense account is what you want, It is 



Cwpid's Exile Number Two 97 

supposed to have a slight elasticity. The ' stationery ' 
items are sometimes carelessly audited by the State 
Department." 

" We're wasting our time," said Keogh. " This 
man was born to hold office. He penetrates to the 
root of the art at one step of his eagle eye. The 
true genius of government shows its hand in every 
word of his speech." 

" I didn't take this job with any intention of work- 
ing," explained Johnny, lazily. " I wanted to go 
somewhere in the world where they didn't talk about 
farms. There are none here, are there ? " 

" Not the kind you are acquainted with," answered 
the ex-consul. " There is no such art here as agricul- 
ture. There never was a plow or a reaper within 
the boundaries of Anchuria." 

" This is the country for me," murmured the con- 
sul, and immediately he fell asleep. 

The cheerful tintypist pursued his intimacy with 
Johnny in spite of open charges that he did so to 
obtain a preemption on a seat in that coveted spot, 
the rear gallery of the consulate. But whether his 
designs were selfish or purely friendly, Keogh 



98 Cabbages and Kings 

achieved that desirable privilege. Few were the 
nights on which the two could not be found reposing 
there in the sea breeze, with their heels on the railing, 
and the cigars and brandy conveniently near. 

One evening they sat thus, mainly silent, for their 
talk had dwindled before the stilling influence of an 
unusual night. 

There was a great, full moon; and the sea was 
mother-of-pearl. Almost every sound was hushed, 
for the air was but faintly stirring; and the town lay 
panting, waiting for the night to cool. Off-shore 
lay the fruit steamer Andador, of the Vesuvius line, 
full-laden and scheduled to sail at six in the morning. 
There were no loiterers on the beach. So bright 
was the moonlight that the two men could see the 
small pebbles shining on the beach where the gentle 
surf wetted them. 

Then down the coast, tacking close to shore, slowly 
swam a little sloop, white-winged like some snowy 
sea fowl. Its course lay within twenty points of 
the wind's eye; so it veered in and out again in long, 
slow strokes like the movements of a graceful skater. 

Again the tactics of its crew brought it close in- 



Cupid's Exile Number Two 99 

shore, this time nearly opposite the consulate; and 
then there blew from the sloop clear and surprising 
notes as if from a horn of elf land. A fairy bugle 
it might have been, sweet and silvery and unexpected, 
playing with spirit the familiar air of " Home, Sweet 
Home." 

It was a scene set for the land of the lotus. The 
authority of the sea and the tropics, the mystery that 
attends unknown sails, and the prestige of drifting 
music on moonlit waters gave it an anodynous charm. 
Johnny Atwood felt it, and thought of Dalesburg; 
but as soon as Keogh's mind had arrived at a theory 
concerning the peripatetic solo he sprang to the 
railing, and his ear-rending yawp fractured the silence 
of Coralio like a cannon shot. 

"Mel-lin-ger a-hoy! " 

The sloop was now on its outward tack; but from 
it came a clear, answering hail : 

" Good-bye, Billy . . . go-ing home — bye ! " 

The Andador was the sloop's destination. No 
doubt some passenger with a sailing permit from 
some up-the-coast point had come down in this sloop 
to catch the regular fruit steamer on its return trip. 



100 Cabbages and Kings 

Like a coquettish pigeon the little boat tacked on its 
eccentric way until at last its white sail was lost to 
sight against the larger bulk of the fruiter's side. 

"That's old H. P. Mellinger," explained Keogh, 
dropping back into his chair. " He's going back to 
New York. He was private secretary of the late 
hot-foot president of this grocery and fruit stand that 
they call a country. His job's over now; and I guess 
old Mellinger is glad." 

" Why does he disappear to music, like Zo-zo, the 
magic queen ? " asked Johnny. " Just to show 'em 
that he doesn't care ? " 

"That noise you heard is a phonograph," said 
Keogh. "I sold him that. Mellinger had a graft 
in this country that was the only thing of its kind in 
the world. The tooting machine saved it for him 
once, and he always carried it around with him 
afterward." 

"Tell me about it," demanded Johnny, betraying 
interest. 

" I'm no disseminator of narratives," said Keogh. 
"I can use language for purposes of speech; but 
when I attempt a discourse the words come out as 



Cupid's Exile Number Two 101 
they will, and they may make sense when they strike 
the atmosphere, or they may not." 

"I want to hear about that graft," persisted 
Johnny. "You've got no right to refuse. I've told 
you all about every man, woman and hitching post 
in Dalesburg." 

" You shall hear it," said Keogh. " I said my in- 
stincts of narrative were perplexed. Don't you be- 
lieve it. It's an art I've acquired along with many 
other of the graces and sciences." 



CHAPTER SIX 

The Phonograph arid the Graft 



WHAT was this graft?" asked Johnny, with 
the impatience of the great public to whom tales 
are told. 

" 'Tis contrary to art and philosophy to give you 
the information," said Keogh, calmly. "The art 
of narrative consists in concealing from your audience 
everything it wants to know until after you expose 
your favourite opinions on topics foreign to the sub- 
ject. A good story is like a bitter pill with the sugar 
coating inside of it. I will begin, if you please, with 
a horoscope located in the Cherokee Nation; and end 
with a moral tune on the phonograph. 

"Me and Henry Horsecollar brought the first 
phonograph to this country. Henry was a quarter- 



The Phonograph and the Graft 103 
breed, quarter-back Cherokee, educated East in the 
idioms of football, and West in contraband whisky, 
and a gentleman, the same as you and me. He was 
easy and romping in his ways ; a man about six foot, 
with a kind of rubber-tire movement. Yes, he was a 
little man about five foot five, or five foot eleven. He 
was what you would call a medium tall man of aver- 
age smallness. Henry had quit college once, and 
the Muscogee jail three times — the last-named 
institution on account of introducing and selling 
whisky in the territories. Henry Horsecollar never 
let any cigar stores come up and stand behind him. 
He didn't belong to that tribe of Indians. 

"Henry and me met at Texarkana, and figured 
out this phonograph scheme. He had $360 which 
came to him out of a land allotment in the reservation. 
I had run down from Little Rock on account of a 
distressful scene I had witnessed on the street there. 
A man stood on a box and passed around some gold 
watches, screw case, stem-winders, Elgin movement, 
very elegant. Twenty bucks they cost you over the 
counter. At three dollars the crowd fought for the 
tickers. The man happened to find a valise full of 



104 Cabbages and Kings 

them handy, and he passed them out like putting 
hot biscuits on a plate. The backs were hard to un- 
screw, but the crowd put its ear to the case, and they 
ticked mollifying and agreeable. Three of these 
watches were genuine tickers; the rest were only 
kickers. Hey ? Why, empty cases with one of them 
horny black bugs that fly around electric lights in 
'em. Them bugs kick off minutes and seconds in- 
dustrious and beautiful. So, this man I was speak- 
ing of cleaned up $288; and then he went away, be- 
cause he knew that when it came time to wind 
watches in Little Rock an entomologist would be 
needed, and he wasn't one. 

"So, as I say, Henry had $360, and I had $288. 
The idea of introducing the phonograph to South 
America was Henry's; but I took to it freely, being 
fond of machinery of all kinds. 

" * The Latin races,' says Henry, explaining easy 
in the idioms he learned at college, ' are peculiarly 
adapted to be victims of the phonograph. They have 
the artistic temperament. They yearn for music and 
color and gaiety. They give wampum to the hand- 
organ man and the four-legged chicken in the tent 



The Phonograph and the Graft 105 
when they're months behind with the grocery and 
the bread-fruit tree.' 

" * Then, ' says I, ' we'll export canned music to 
the Latins; but I'm mindful of Mr. Julius Caesar's 
account of 'em where he says : " Omnia Gallia in 
tres partes divisa est;" which is the same as to say, 
" We will need all of our gall in devising means to 
tree them parties." ' 

"I hated to make a show of education; but I 
was disinclined to be overdone in syntax by a mere 
Indian, a member of a race to which we owe nothing 
except the land on which the United States is 
situated. 

" We bought a fine phonograph in Texarkana — 
one of the best make — and half a trunkful of records. 
We packed up, and took the T. and P. for New 
Orleans. From that celebrated centre of molasses 
and disfranchised coon songs we took a steamer for 
South America. 

"We landed at Solitas, forty miles up the coast 
from here. 'Twas a palatable enough place to look 
at. The houses were clean and white; and to look 
at 'em stuck around among the scenery they re- 



106 Cabbages and Kings 

minded you of hard-boiled eggs served with lettuce. 
There was a block of skyscraper mountains in the 
suburbs ; and they kept pretty quiet, like they had 
crept up there and were watching the town. And 
the sea was remarking 'Sh-sh-sh' on the beach; 
and now and then a ripe cocoanut would drop ker- 
blip in the sand; and that was all there was doing. 
Yes, I judge that town was considerably on the quiet. 
I judge that after Gabriel quits blowing his horn, 
and the car starts, with Philadelphia swinging to the 
last strap, and Pine Gully, Arkansas, hanging onto 
the rear step, this town of Solitas will wake up and 
ask if anybody spoke. 

"The captain went ashore with us, and offered to 
conduct what he seemed to like to call the obsequies. 
He introduced Henry and me to the United States 
Consul, and a roan man, the head of the Department 
of Mercenary and Licentious Dispositions, the way 
it read upon his sign. 

" ' I touch here again a week from to-day,' says the 
captain. 

"'By that time,' we told him, 'we'll be amassing 
wealth in the interior towns with our galvanized 



The Phonograph and the Graft 107 
prima donna and correct imitations of Sousa's band 
excavating a march from a tin mine.' 

"'Ye'll not,' says the captain. 'Ye'll be hypno- 
tized. Any gentleman in the audience who kindly 
steps upon the stage and looks this country in the 
eye will be converted to the hypothesis that he's but 
a fly in the Elgin creamery. Ye'll be standing knee 
deep in the surf waiting for me, and your machine for 
making Hamburger steak out of the hitherto re- 
spected art of music will be playing "There's no 
place like home." ' 

" Henry skinned a twenty off his roll, and received 
from the Bureau of Mercenary Dispositions a paper 
bearing a red seal and a dialect story, and no change. 

"Then we got the consul full of red wine, and 
struck him for a horoscope. He was a thin, youngish 
kind of man, I should say past fifty, sort of French- 
Irish in his affections, and puffed up with disconso- 
lation. Yes, he was a flattened kind of a man, in 
whom drink lay stagnant, inclined to corpulence and 
misery. Yes, I think he was a kind of Dutchman, 
being very sad and genial in his ways. 

" ' The marvelous invention,' he says, ' entitled the 



108 Cabbages and Kings 

phonograph, has never invaded these shores. The 
people have never heard it. They would not believe 
it if they should. Simple-hearted children of nature, 
progress has never condemned them to accept the 
work of a can-opener as an overture, and rag-time 
might incite them to a bloody revolution. But you 
can try the experiment. The best chance you have 
is that the populace may not wake up when you 
play. There's two ways,' says the consul, ' they may 
take it. They may become inebriated with atten- 
tion, like an Atlanta colonel listening to "Marching 
Through Georgia," or they will get excited and trans- 
pose the key of the music with an axe and yourselves 
into a dungeon. In the latter case/ says the consul, 
' I'll do my duty by cabling to the State Department, 
and I'll wrap the Stars and Stripes around you when 
you come to be shot, and threaten them with the 
vengeance of the greatest gold export and financial 
reserve nation on earth. The flag is full of bullet 
holes now,' says the consul, 'made in that way. 
Twice before,' says the consul, 'I have cabled our 
government for a couple of gunboats to protect 
American citizens. The first time the Department 



The Phonograph and the Graft 109 
sent me a pair of gum boots. The other time was 
when a man named Pease was going to be executed 
here. They referred that appeal to the Secretary of 
Agriculture. Let us now disturb the senor behind 
the bar for a subsequence of the red wine.' 

"Thus soliloquized the consul of Solitas to me 
and Henry Horsecollar. 

" But, notwithstanding, we hired a room that after- 
noon in the Calle de los Angeles, the main street that 
runs along the shore, and put our trunks there. 'Twas 
a good-sized room, dark and cheerful, but small. 
'Twas on a various street, diversified by houses and 
conservatory plants. The peasantry of the city 
passed to and fro on the fine pasturage between the 
sidewalks. 'Twas, for the world, like an opera 
chorus when the Royal Kafoozlum is about to 
enter. 

"We were rubbing the dust off the machine and 
getting fixed to start business the next day, when a 
big, fine-looking white man in white clothes stopped 
at the door and looked in. We extended the invita- 
tions, and he walked inside and sized us up. He 
was chewing a long cigar, and wrinkling his eyes, 



110 Cabbages and Kings 

meditative, like a girl trying to decide which dress 

to wear to the party. 

" ' New York ? ' he says to me finally. 

"'Originally, and from time to time,' I says. 
'Hasn't it rubbed off yet?' 

"'It's simple,' says he, 'when you know how. It's 
the fit of the vest. They don't cut vests right any- 
where else. Coats, maybe, but not vests.' 

"The white man looks at Henry Horsecollar and 
hesitates. 

"'Injun,' says Henry; 'tame Injun.' 

" ' Mellinger,' says the man — ' Homer P. Mel- 
linger. Boys, you're confiscated. You're babes in 
the wood without a chaperon or referee, and it's my 
duty to start you going. I'll knock out the props 
and launch you proper in the pellucid waters of this 
tropical mud puddle. You'll have to be christened, 
and if you'll come with me I'll break a bottle of wine 
across your bows, according to Hoyle.' 

"Well, for two days Homer P. Mellinger did the 
honors. That man cut ice in Anchuria. He was 
It. He was the Royal Kafoozlum. If me and 
Henry was babes in the wood, he was a Robin Red- 



The Phonograph and the Graft 111 
breast from the topmost bough. Him and me and 
Henry Horsecollar locked arms, and toted that pho- 
nograph around, and had wassail and diversions. 
Everywhere we found doors open we went inside 
and seb the machine going, and Mellinger called 
upon the people to observe the artful music 
and his two lifelong friends, the Senors Americanos. 
The opera chorus was agitated with esteem, 
and followed us from house to house. There 
was a different kind of drink to be had with every 
tune. The natives had acquirements of a pleasant 
think in the way of a drink that gums itself to 
the recollection. They chop off the end of a 
green cocoanut, and pour in on the juice of it French 
brandy and other adjuvants. We had them and 
other things. 

" Mine and Henry's money was counterfeit. Every- 
thing was on Homer P. Mellinger. That man could 
find rolls of bills concealed in places on his person 
where Hermann the Wizard couldn't have conjured 
out a rabbit or an omelette. He could have founded 
universities, and made orchid collections, and then 
had enough left to purchase the colored vote of his 



112 Cabbages and Kings 

country. Henry and me wondered what his graft 

was. One evening he told us. 

"'Boys/ said he, 'I've deceived you. You think 
I'm a painted butterfly; but in fact I'm the hardest 
worked man in this country. Ten years ago I landed 
on its shores; and two years ago on the point of its 
jaw. Yes, I guess I can get the decision over this 
ginger cake commonwealth at the end of any round 
I choose. I'll confide in you because you are my 
countrymen and guests, even if you have assaulted 
my adopted shores with the worst system of noises 
ever set to music. 

"'My job is private secretary to the president of 
this republic; and my duties are running it. I'm not 
headlined in the bills, but I'm the mustard in the 
salad dressing just the same. There isn't a law 
goes before Congress, there isn't a concession granted, 
there isn't an import duty levied but what H. P. 
Mellinger he cooks and seasons it. In the front 
office I fill the president's inkstand and search visit- 
ing statesmen for dirks and dynamite; but in the 
back room I dictate the policy of the government. 
You'd never guess in the world how I got my pull. 



The Phonograph and the Graft 113 
It's the only graft of its kind on earth. I'll put you 
wise. You remember the old top-liner in the copy 
book — " Honesty is the Best Policy?" That's it. 
I'm working honesty for a graft. I'm the only honest 
man in the republic. The government knows it; the 
people know it; the boodlers know it; the foreign 
investors know it. I make the government keep its 
faith. If a man is promised a job he gets it. If 
outside capital buys a concession it gets the goods. 
I run a monopoly of square dealing here. There's 
no competition. If Colonel Diogenes were to flash 
his lantern in this precinct he'd have my address in- 
side of two minutes. There isn't big money in it, 
but it's a sure thing, and lets a man sleep of nights.' 

"Thus Homer P. Mellinger made oration to me 
and Henry Horsecollar. And, later, he divested him- 
self of this remark: 

" 'Boys, I'm to hold a soiree this evening with a 
gang of leading citizens, and I want your assistance. 
You bring the musical corn sheller and give the affair 
the outside appearance of a function. There's im- 
portant business on hand, but it musn't show. I can 
talk to you people. I've been pained for years on ac- 



114 Cabbages and Kings 

count of not having anybody to blow off and brag to. 
I get homesick sometimes, and I'd swap the entire 
perquisites of office for just one hour to have a stein 
and a caviare sandwich somewhere on Thirty-fourth 
Street, and stand and watch the street cars go by, and 
smell the peanut roaster at old Giuseppe's fruit stand.' 

" * Yes,' said I, ' there's fine caviare at Billy Ren- 
f row's cafe, corner of Thirty-fourth and — ' 

" 'God knows it,' interrupts Mellinger, 'and if 
you'd told me you knew Billy Renfrow I'd have in- 
vented tons of ways of making you happy. Billy was 
my side-kicker in New York. There is a man who 
never knew what crooked was. Here I am working 
Honesty for a graft, but that man loses money on it. 
Carrambos ! I get sick at times of this country. Every- 
thing's rotten. From the executive down to the cof- 
fee pickers, they're plotting to down each other and 
skin their friends. If a mule driver takes off his hat 
to an official, that man figures it out that he's a popu- 
lar idol, and sets his pegs to stir up a revolution and 
upset the administration. It's one of my little chores 
as private secretary to smell out these revolutions and 
affix the kibosh before they break out and scratch the 



The Phonograph and the Graft 115 
paint off the government property. That's why I'm 
down here now in this mildewed coast town. The 
governor of the district and his crew are plotting to 
uprise. I've got every one of their names, and they're 
invited to listen to the phonograph to-night, compli- 
ments of H. P. M. That's the way I'll get them in a 
bunch, and things are on the programme to happen 
to them.' 

" We three were sitting at table in the cantina of the 
Purified Saints. Mellinger poured out wine, and 
was looking some worried ; I was thinking. 

" ' They're a sharp crowd, ' he says, kind of fretful. 
1 They're capitalized by a foreign syndicate after rub- 
ber, and they're loaded to the muzzle for bribing. I'm 
sick, ' goes on Mellinger, * of comic opera. I want to 
smell East River and wear suspenders again. At 
times I feel like throwing up my job, but I'm d — n fool 
enough to be sort of proud of it. " There's Mellinger," 
they say here. " Por Dios I you can't touch him with a 
million." I'd like to take that record back and show 
it to Billy Renfrow some day; and that tightens my 
grip whenever I see a fat thing that I could corral just 
by winking one eye — and losing my graft. By — , 



116 Cabbages and Kings 

they can't monkey with me. They know it. What 
money I get I make honest and spend it. Some day 
I'll make a pile and go back and eat caviare with 
Billy. To-night I'll show you how to handle a bunch 
of corruptionists. I'll show them what Mellinger, 
private secretary, means when you spell it with the 
cotton and tissue paper off.' 

"Mellinger appears shaky, and breaks his glass 
against the neck of the bottle. 

" I says to myself, * White man, if I'm not mistaken 
there's been a bait laid out where the tail of your eye 
could see it.' 

"That night, according to arrangements, me and 
Henry took the phonograph to a room in a 'dobe 
house in a dirty side street, where the grass was knee 
high. 'Twas a long room, lit with smoky oil lamps. 
There was plenty of chairs, and a table at the back end. 
We set the phonograph on the table. Mellinger was 
there, walking up and down, disturbed in his predica- 
ments. He chewed cigars and spat 'em out, and he 
bit the thumb nail of his left hand. 

"By and by the invitations to the musicale came 
sliding in by pairs and threes and spade flushes. 



The Phonograph and the Graft 117 
Their colour was of a diversity, running from a 
three-days' smoked meerschaum to a patent-leather 
polish. They were as polite as wax, being devastated 
with enjoyments to give Senor Mellinger the good 
evenings. I understood their Spanish talk — I ran a 
pumping engine two years in a Mexican silver mine, 
and had it pat — but I never let on. 

"Maybe fifty of 'em had come, and was seated, 
when in slid the king bee, the governor of the dis- 
trict. Mellinger met him at the door, and escorted 
him to the grand stand. When I saw that Latin man 
I knew that Mellinger, private secretary, had all the 
dances on his card taken. That was a big, squashy 
man, the colour of a rubber overshoe, and he had an 
eye like a head waiter's. 

"Mellinger explained, fluent, in the Castilian id- 
ioms, that his soul was disconcerted with joy at in- 
troducing to his respected friends America's greatest 
invention, the wonder of the age. Henry got the 
cue and run on an elegant brass-band record and the 
festivities became initiated. The governor man had 
a bit of English under his hat, and when the music 
was choked off he says : 



118 Cabbages and Kings 

" 'Ver-r-ree fine. Gr-r-r-r-racias, the American 
gentleemen, the so esplendeed moosic as to playee.' 

" The table was a long one, and Henry and me sat 
at the end of it next the wall. The governor sat at 
the other end. Homer P. Mellinger stood at the side 
of it. I was just wondering how Mellinger was go- 
ing to handle his crowd, when the home talent sud- 
denly opened the services. 

"That governor man was suitable for uprisings 
and policies. I judge he was a ready kind of man, 
who took his own time. Yes, he was full of attention 
and immediateness. He leaned his hands on the ta- 
ble and imposed his face toward the secretary man. 

" * Do the American sefiors understand Spanish ? ' 
he asks in his native accents. 

" * They do not,' says Mellinger. 

"'Then listen,' goes on the Latin man, prompt. 
'The musics are of sufficient prettiness, but not of ne- 
cessity. Let us speak of business. I well know why we 
are here, since I observe my compatriots. You had a 
whisper yesterday, Senor Mellinger, of our proposals. 
To-night we will speak out. We know that you 
stand in the president's favour, and we know your 



The Phonograph and the Graft 119 
influence. The government will be changed. We 
know the worth of your services. We esteem your 
friendship and aid so much that' — Mellinger raises 
his hand, but the governor man bottles him up. ' Do 
not speak until I have done.' 

" The governor man then draws a package wrap- 
ped in paper from his pocket, and lays it on the table 
by Mellinger's hand. 

" 'In that you will find fifty thousand dollars in 
money of your country. You can do nothing against 
us, but you can be worth that for us. Go back to 
the capital and obey our instructions. Take that 
money now. We trust you. You will find with 
it a paper giving in detail the work you will be 
expected to do for us. Do not have the unwiseness 
to refuse.' 

"The governor man paused, with his eyes fixed 
on Mellinger, full of expressions and observances. I 
looked at Mellinger, and was glad Billy Renfrow 
couldn't see him then. The sweat was popping out 
on his forehead, and he stood dumb, tapping the little 
package with the ends of his fingers. The colorado- 
maduro gang was after his graft. He had only to 



120 Cabbages and Kings 

change his politics, and stuff five figures in his inside 

pocket. 

" Henry whispers to me and wants the pause in the 
programme interpreted. I whisper back: 'H. P. is 
up against a bribe, senator's size, and the coons have 
got him going.' I saw Mellinger's hand moving 
closer to the package. 'He's weakening,' I whis- 
pered to Henry. * We'll remind him,' says Henry, 'of 
the peanut-roaster on Thirty-fourth Street, New 
York.' 

"Henry stooped down and got a record from the 
basketful we'd brought, slid it in the phonograph, 
and started her off. It was a cornet solo, very neat 
and beautiful, and the name of it was ' Home, Sweet 
Home.' Not one of them fifty odd men in the room 
moved while it was playing, and the governor man 
kept his eyes steady on Mellinger. I saw Mellinger's 
head go up little by little, and his hand came creeping 
away from the package. Not. until the last note 
sounded did anybody stir. And then Homer P. Mel- 
linger takes up the bundle of boodle and slams it in 
the governor man's face. 

" ' That's my answer,' says Mellinger, private sec- 



The Phonograph and the Graft 121 
retary, ' and there'll be another in the morning. I have 
proofs of conspiracy against every man of you. The 
show is over, gentlemen.' 

"'There's one more act,' puts in the governor 
man. ' You are a servant, I believe, employed by the 
president to copy letters and answer raps at the door. 
I am governor here. Senores, I call upon you in the 
name of the cause to seize this man.' 

"That brindled gang of conspirators shoved back 
their chairs and advanced in force. I could see where 
Mellinger had made a mistake in massing his enemy 
so as to make a grand-stand play. I think he made 
another one, too; but we can pass that, Mellinger's 
idea of a graft and mine being different, according to 
estimations and points of view. 

"There was only one window and door in that 
room, and they were in the front end. Here was fifty 
odd Latin men coming in a bunch to obstruct the leg- 
islation of Mellinger. You may say there were three 
of us, for me and Henry, simultaneous, declared New 
York City and the Cherokee Nation in sympathy with 
the weaker party. 

"Then it was that Henry Horsecollar rose to a 



122 Cabbages and Kings 

point of disorder and intervened, showing, admirable, 
the advantages of education as applied to the Ameri- 
can Indian's natural intellect and native refinement. 
He stood up and smoothed back his hair on each side 
with his hands as you have seen little girls do when 
they play. 

" ' Get behind me, both of you/ says Henry. 

" ' What's it to be, chief ?' I asked. 

"'I'm going to buck centre,' says Henry, in his 
football idioms. There isn't a tackle in the lot of 
them. Follow me close, and rush the game.' 

"Then that cultured Red Man exhaled an ar- 
rangement of sounds with his mouth that made the 
Latin aggregation pause, with thoughtfulness and 
hesitations. The matter of his proclamation seemed 
to be a co-operation of the Carlisle war-whoop with 
the Cherokee college yell. He went at the chocolate 
team like a bean out of a little boy's nigger shooter. 
His right elbow laid out the governor man on the 
gridiron, and he made a lane the length of the crowd 
so wide that a woman could have carried a step-lad- 
der through it without striking against anything. All 
Mellinger and me had to do was to follow. 



The Phonograph and the Graft 123 

" It took us just three minutes to get out of that 
street around to military headquarters, where Mel- 
linger had things his own way. A colonel and a 
battalion of bare-toed infantry turned out and went 
back to the scene of the musicale with us, but the 
conspirator gang was gone. But we recaptured the 
phonograph with honours of war, and marched back 
to the cuartel with it playing 'All Coons Look Alike 
to Me/ 

" The next day Mellinger takes me and Henry to 
one side, and begins to shed tens and twenties. 

"'I want to buy that phonograph,' says he. 'I 
liked that last tune it played at the soiree. 9 

" ' This is more money than the machine is worth,' 
says I. 

""Tis government expense money,' says Mellin- 
ger. 'The government pays for it, and it's getting 
the tune-grinder cheap.' 

" Me and Henry knew that pretty well. We knew 
that it had saved Homer P. Mellinger's graft when he 
was on the point of losing it; but we never let him 
know we knew it. 

Now you boys better slide off further down the 



124 Cabbages and Kings 

coast for a while,' says Mellinger, * till I get the screws 
put on these fellows here. If you don't they'll give 
you trouble. And if you ever happen to see Billy 
Renfrow again before I do, tell him I'm coming back 
to New York as soon as I can make a stake — Jionest.' 

" Me and Henry laid low until the day the steamer 
came back. When we saw the captain's boat on the 
beach we went down and stood in the edge of the 
water. The captain grinned when he saw us. 

" * I told you you'd be waiting,' he says. * Where's 
the Hamburger machine ? ' 

" * It stays behind,' I says, ' to play " Home, Sweet 
Home.'" 

" * I told you so,' says the captain again. * Climb 
in the boat.' 

"And that," said Keogh, "is the way me and 
Henry Horsecollar introduced the phonograph into 
this country. Henry went back to the States, but 
I've been rummaging around in the tropics ever since 
They say Mellinger never travelled a mile after that 
without his phonograph. I guess it kept him reminded 
about his graft whenever he saw the siren voice of the 
boodler tip him the wink with a bribe in its hand." 



The Phonograph and the Graft 125 
" I suppose he's taking it home with him as a sou- 
venir," remarked the consul. 

"Not as a souvenir," said Keogh. "He'll need 
two of 'em in New York, running day and night." 



CHAPTER SEVEN 
Money Maze 



1 HE new administration of Anchuria entered 
upon its duties and privileges with enthusiasm. Its 
first act was to send an agent to Coralio with impera- 
tive orders to recover, if possible, the sum of 
money ravished from the treasury by the ill-fated 
Miraflores. 

Colonel Emilio Falcon, the private secretary of Lo- 
sada, the new president, was despatched from the cap- 
ital upon this important mission. 

The position of private secretary to a tropical presi- 
dent is a responsible one. He must be a diplomat, a 
spy, a ruler of men, a body-guard to his chief, and a 
smeller-out of plots and nascent revolutions. Often 
he is the power behind the throne, the dictator of pol- 



Money Maze 127 

icy; and a president chooses him with a dozen times 
the care with which he selects a matrimonial mate. 

Colonel Falcon, a handsome and urbane gentle- 
man of Castilian courtesy and debonnaire manners, 
came to Coralio with the task before him of striking 
upon the cold trail of the lost money. There he con- 
ferred with the military authorities, who had received 
instructions to co-operate with him in the search. 

Colonel Falcon established his headquarters in one 
of the rooms of the Casa Morena. Here for a week 
he held informal sittings — much as if he were a kind 
of unified grand jury — and summoned before him all 
those whose testimony might illumine the financial 
tragedy that had accompanied the less momentous 
one of the late president's death. 

Two or three who were thus examined, among 
whom was the barber Esteban, declared that they 
had identified the body of the president before its 
burial. 

" Of a truth, " testified Esteban before the mighty 
secretary, "it was he, the president. Consider! — 
how could I shave a man and not see his face ? He 
sent for me to shave him in a small house. He had a 



128 Cabbages and Kings 

beard very black and thick. Had I ever seen the 
president before ? Why not ? I saw him once ride 
forth in a carriage from the vapor in Solitas. When 
I shaved him he gave me a gold piece, and said there 
was to be no talk. But I am a Liberal — I am de- 
voted to my country — and I spake of these things to 
Senor Goodwin." 

"It is known," said Colonel Falcon, smoothly, 
" that the late President took with him an American 
leather valise, containing a large amount of money. 
Did you see that ? " 

" De veras — no, " Esteban answered. " The light 
in the little house was but a small lamp by which I 
could scarcely see to shave the President. Such a 
thing there may have been, but I did not see it. No. 
Also in the room was a young lady — a senorita of 
much beauty — that I could see even in so small a 
light. But the money, senor, or the thing in which it 
was carried — that I did not see. " 

The comandante and other officers gave testimony 
that they had been awakened and alarmed by the 
noise of a pistol-shot in the Hotel de los Estranjeros. 
Hurrying thither to protect the peace and dignity of 



Money Maze 129 

the republic, they found a man lying dead, with a 
pistol clutched in his hand. Beside him was a young 
woman, weeping sorely. Senor Goodwin was also in 
the room when they entered it. But of the valise of 
money they saw nothing. 

Madame Timotea Ortiz, the proprietress of the 
hotel in which the game of Fox-in-the-Morning had 
been played out, told of the coming of the two guests 
to her house. 

" To my house they came, " said she — " one senor ; 
not quite old, and one senorita of sufficient handsome- 
ness. They desired not to eat or to drink — not even 
of my aguardiente, which is the best. To their rooms 
they ascended — Numero Nueve and Numero Diez. 
Later came Senor Goodwin, who ascended to speak 
with them. Then I heard a great noise like that of a 
canon, and they said that the pobre Presidente had 
shot himself. Estd bueno. I saw nothing of money 
or of the thing you call veliz that you say he carried it 
in." 

Colonel Falcon soon came to the reasonable con- 
clusion that if anyone in Coralio could furnish a clue 
to the vanished money, Frank Goodwin must be the 



130 Cabbages and Kings 

man. But the wise secretary pursued a different 
course in seeking information from the American. 
Goodwin was a powerful friend to the new adminis- 
tration, and one who was not to be carelessly dealt 
with in respect to either his honesty or his courage. 
Even the private secretary of His Excellency hesitated 
to have this rubber prince and mahogany baron 
haled before him as a common citizen of Anchuria. So 
he sent Goodwin a flowery epistle, each word-petal 
dripping with honey, requesting the favour of an in- 
terview. Goodwin replied with an invitation to din- 
ner at his own house. 

Before the hour named the American walked over 
to the Casa Morena, and greeted his guest frankly 
and friendly. Then the two strolled, in the cool of 
the afternoon, to Goodwin's home in the environs. 

The American left Colonel Falcon in a big, cool, 
shadowed room with a floor of inlaid and polished 
woods that any millionaire in the States would have 
envied, excusing himself for a few minutes. He 
crossed a patio., shaded with deftly arranged awnings 
and plants, and entered a long room looking upon the 
sea in the opposite wing of the house. The broad 



Money Maze 131 

jalousies were opened wide, and the ocean breeze 
flowed in through the room, an invisible current of 
coolness and health. Goodwin's wife sat near one of 
the windows, making a water-color sketch of the af- 
ternoon seascape. 

Here was a woman who looked to be happy. And 
more — she looked to be content. Had a poet been 
inspired to pen just similes concerning her favour, he 
would have likened her full, clear eyes, with their 
white-encircled, gray irises, to moonflowers. With 
none of the goddesses whose traditional charms -have 
become coldly classic would the discerning rhyme- 
ster have compared her. She was purely Paradisaic, 
not Olympian. If you can imagine Eve, after the 
eviction, beguiling the flaming warriors and serenely 
re-entering the Garden, you will have her. Just so 
human, and still so harmonious with Eden seemed 
Mrs. Goodwin. 

When her husband entered she looked up, and her 
lips curved and parted ; her eyelids fluttered twice or 
thrice — a movement remindful (Poesy forgive us !) of 
the tail-wagging of a faithful dog — - and a little ripple 
went through her like the commotion set up in a 



132 Cabbages and Kings 

weeping willow by a puff of wind. Thus she ever 
acknowledged his coming, were it twenty times a day. 
If they who sometimes sat over their wine in Coralio, 
reshaping old, diverting stories of the madcap career 
of Isabel Guilbert, could have seen the wife of Frank 
Goodwin that afternoon in the estimable aura of her 
happy wifehood, they might have disbelieved, or have 
agreed to forget, those graphic annals of the lif e of the 
one for whom their president gave up his country and 
his honour. 

" I have brought a guest to dinner, " said Goodwin. 
" One Colonel Falcon, from San Mateo. He is come 
on government business. I do not think you will 
care to see him, so I prescribe for you one of those 
convenient and indisputable feminine headaches. " 

" He has come to inquire about the lost money, has 
he not?" asked Mrs. Goodwin, going on with her 
sketch. 

"A good guess!" acknowledged Goodwin. "He 
has been holding an inquisition among the natives 
for three days. I am next on his list of witnesses, 
but as he feels shy about dragging one of Uncle 
Sam's subjects before him, he consents to give it the 



Money Maze 133 

outward appearance of a social function. He will 
apply the torture over my own wine and provender. " 

"Has he found anyone who saw the valise of 
money ? " 

"Not a soul. Even Madama Ortiz, whose eyes 
are so sharp for the sight of a revenue official, does not 
remember that there was any baggage. " 

Mrs. Goodwin laid down her brush and sighed. 

" I am so sorry, Frank, " she said, " that they are 
giving you so much trouble about the money. But 
we can't let them know about it, can we ? " 

" Not without doing our intelligence a great injus- 
tice, " said Goodwin, with a smile and a shrug that he 
had picked up from the natives. "Americano, 
though I am, they would have me in the calaboza in 
half an hour if they knew we had appropriated that 
valise. No; we must appear as ignorant about the 
money as the other ignoramuses in Coralio. " 

"Do you think that this man they have sent sus- 
pects you?" she asked, with a little pucker of her 
brows. 

" He'd better not, " said the American, carelessly. 
" It's lucky that no one caught a sight of the valise ex- 



134 Cabbages and Kings 

cept myself. As I was in the rooms when the shot 
was fired, it is not surprising that they should want to 
investigate my part in the affair rather closely. But 
there's no cause for alarm. This colonel is down on 
the list of events for a good dinner, with a dessert of 
American ' bluff ' that will end the matter, I think. " 

Mrs. Goodwin rose and walked to the window. 
Goodwin followed and stood by her side. She leaned 
to him, and rested in the protection of his strength, as 
she had always rested since that dark night on which 
he had first made himself her tower of refuge. Thus 
they stood for a little while. 

Straight through the lavish growth of tropical 
branch and leaf and vine that confronted them had 
been cunningly trimmed a vista, that ended at the 
cleared environs of Coralio, on the banks of the man- 
grove swamp. At the other end of the aerial tunnel 
they could see the grave and wooden headpiece that 
bore the name of the unhappy President Miraflores. 
From this window when the rains forbade the open, 
and from the green and shady slopes of Goodwin's 
fruitful lands when the skies were smiling, his wife 
was wont to look upon that grave with a gentle 



Money Maze 135 

sadness that was now scarcely a mar to her happi- 
ness. 

" I loved him so, Frank ! " she said, " even after 
that terrible flight and its awful ending. And you 
have been so good to me, and have made me so happy. 
It has all grown into such a strange puzzle. If they 
were to find out that we got the money do you think 
they would force you to make the amount good to the 
government ? " 

M They would undoubtedly try, " answered Good- 
win. " You are right about its being a puzzle. And 
it must remain a puzzle to Falcon and all his coun- 
trymen until it solves itself. You and I, who know 
more than anyone else, only know half of the solution. 
We must not let even a hint about this money get 
abroad. Let them come to the theory that the presi- 
dent concealed it in the mountains during his journey, 
or that he found means to ship it out of the country 
before he reached Coralio. I don't think that Fal- 
con suspects me. He is making a close investigation, 
according to his orders, but he will find out nothing." 

Thus they spake together. Had anyone over- 
heard or v overseen them as they discussed the lost 



136 Cabbages and Kings 

funds of Anchuria there would have been a second 
puzzle presented. For upon the faces and in the 
bearing of each of them was visible (if countenances 
are to be believed) Saxon honesty and pride and hon- 
ourable thoughts. In Goodwin's steady eye and firm 
lineaments, moulded into material shape by the in- 
ward spirit of kindness and generosity and courage, 
there was nothing reconcilable with his words. 

As for his wife, physiognomy championed her even 
in the face of their accusive talk. Nobility was in her 
guise ; purity was in her glance. The devotion that 
she manifested had not even the appearance of that 
feeling that now and then inspires a woman to share 
the guilt of her partner out of the pathetic greatness of 
her love. No, there was a discrepancy here between 
what the eye would have seen and the ear have heard. 

Dinner was served to Goodwin and his guest in the 
patio, under cool foliage and flowers. The American 
begged the illustrious secretary to excuse the absence 
of Mrs. Goodwin, who was suffering, he said, from a 
headache brought on by a slight calentura. 

After the meal they lingered, according to the cus- 
tom, over their coffee and cigars. Colonel Falcon, 



Money Maze 137 

with true Castilian delicacy, waited for his host to 
open the question that they had met to discuss. He 
had not long to wait. As soon as the cigars were 
lighted, the American cleared the way by inquiring 
whether the secretary's investigations in the town 
had furnished him with any clue to the lost funds. 

w I have found no one yet, " admitted Colonel Fal- 
con, " who even had sight of the valise or the money. 
Yet I have persisted. It has been proven in the capi- 
tal that President Miraflores set out from San Mateo 
with one hundred thousand dollars belonging to the 
government, accompanied by Senorita Isabel Guil- 
bert, the opera singer. The Government, officially 
and personally, is loathe to believe, " concluded Col- 
onel Falcon, with a smile, "that our late President's 
tastes would have permitted him to abandon on the 
route, as excess baggage, either of the desirable arti- 
cles with which his flight was burdened. " 

" I suppose you would like to hear what I have to 
say about the affair, " said Goodwin, coming directly 
to the point. " It will not require many words. 

" On that night, with others of our friends here, I 
was keeping a lookout for the president, having been 



138 Cabbages and Kings 

notified of his flight by a telegram in our national 
cipher from Englehart, one of our leaders in the capi- 
tal. About ten o'clock that night I saw a man and a 
woman hurrying along the streets. They went to the 
Hotel de los Estranjeros, and engaged rooms. I fol- 
lowed them upstairs, leaving Esteban, who had come 
up, to watch outside. The barber had told me that 
he had shaved the beard from the president's face 
that night; therefore I was prepared, when I entered 
the rooms, to find him with a smooth face. When I 
apprehended him in the name of the people he drew a 
pistol and shot himself instantly. In a few minutes 
many officers and citizens were on the spot. I sup- 
pose you have been informed of the subsequent facts. M 

Goodwin paused. Losada's agent maintained an 
attitude of waiting, as if he expected a continuance. 

"And now," went on the American, looking stead- 
ily into the eyes of the other man, and giving each 
word a deliberate emphasis, "you will oblige me by 
attending carefully to what I have to add. I saw 
no valise or receptacle of any kind, or any money be- 
longing to the Republic of Anchuria. If President 
Miraflores decamped with any funds belonging to the 



Money Maze 139 

treasury of this country, or to himself, or to anyone 
else, I saw no trace of it in the house or elsewhere, at 
that time or at any other. Does that statement cover 
the ground of the inquiry you wished to make of me ? " 

Colonel Falcon bowed, and described a fluent 
curve with his cigar. His duty was performed. 
Goodwin was not to be disputed He was a loyal 
supporter of the government, and enjoyed the full 
confidence of the new president. His rectitude had 
been the capital that had brought him fortune in An- 
churia, just as it had formed the lucrative " graft " of 
Mellinger, the secretary of Miraflores. 

" I thank you, Senor Goodwin, " said Falcon, " for 
speaking plainly. Your word will be sufficient for 
the president. But, Senor Goodwin, I am instructed 
to pursue every clue that presents itself in this matter. 
There is one that I have not yet touched upon. Our 
friends in France, senor, have a saying, ' Cherchez la 
femme,' when there is a mystery without a clue. But 
here we do not have to search. The woman who ac- 
companied the late President in his flight must 
surely — " 

" I must interrupt you there," interposed Goodwin. 



140 Cabbages and Kings 

u It is true that when I entered the hotel for the pur- 
pose of intercepting President Miraflores I found a 
lady there. I must beg of you to remember that that 
lady is now my wife. I speak for her as I do for my- 
self. She knows nothing of. the fate of the valise or 
of the money that you are seeking. You will say to 
his excellency that I guarantee her innocence. I do 
not need to add to you, Colonel Falcon, that I do not 
care to have her questioned or disturbed. " 

Colonel Falcon bowed again. 

" Por supuesto, no!" he cried. And to indicate 
that the inquiry was ended he added: "And now, 
senor, let me beg of you to show me that sea view from 
your galeria of which you spoke. I am a lover of the 
sea." 

In the early evening Goodwin walked back to the 
town with his guest, leaving him at the corner of the 
Calle Grande. As he was returning homeward one 
"Beelzebub" Blythe, with the air of a courtier and 
the outward aspect of a scarecrow, pounced upon him 
hopefully from the door of a pulperia. 

Blythe had been re-christened " Beelzebub " as an 
acknowledgment of the greatness of his fall. Once, 



Money Maze 141 

in some distant Paradise Lost, he had foregathered 
with the angels of the earth. But Fate had hurled 
him headlong down to the tropics, where flamed in 
his bosom a fire that was seldom quenched. In Cora- 
lio they called him a beachcomber; but he was, in 
reality, a categorical idealist who strove to anamor- 
phosize the dull verities of life by the means of 
brandy and rum. As Beelzebub, himself, might have 
held in his clutch with unwitting tenacity his harp or 
crown during his tremendous fall, so his namesake 
had clung to his gold-rimmed eyeglasses as the only 
souvenir of his lost estate. These he wore with impres- 
siveness and distinction while he combed beaches and 
extracted toll from his friends. By some mysterious 
means he kept his drink-reddened face always smooth- 
ly shaven. For the rest he sponged gracefully upon 
whomsoever he could for enough to keep him pretty 
drunk, and sheltered from the rains and night dews. 
"Hallo, Goodwin!" called the derelict, airily. " I 
was hoping I'd strike you. I wanted to see you par- 
ticularly. Suppose we go where we can talk. Of 
course you know there's a chap down here looking up 
the money old Miraflores lost. " 



142 Cabbages and Kings 

" Yes," said Goodwin, " I've been talking with him. 
Let's go into Espada's place. I can spare you ten 
minutes. " 

They went into the pulperia and sat at a little table 
upon stools with rawhide tops. 

" Have a drink ? " said Goodwin. 

"They can't bring it too quickly," said Blythe. 
" I've been in a drought ever since morning. Hi — 
muchacho ! — el aguardiente for acd. " 

" Now, what do you want to see me about ? " asked 
Goodwin, when the drinks were before them. 

"Confound it, old man," drawled Blythe, "why 
do you spoil a golden moment like this with business ? 
I wanted to see you — well, this has the preference. " 
He gulped down his brandy, and gazed longingly into 
the empty glass. 

"Have another?" suggested Goodwin. 

"Between gentlemen," said the fallen angel, "I 
don't quite like your use of that word ' another. ' It 
isn't quite delicate. But the concrete idea that the 
word represents is not displeasing. " 

The glasses were refilled. Blythe sipped blissfully 
from his, as he began to enter the state of a true idealist. 



Money Maze 143 

" I must trot along in a minute or two, " hinted 
Goodwin. "Was there anything in particular?" 

Blythe did not reply at once. 

" Old Losada would make it a hot country, " he re- 
marked at length, " for the man who swiped that grip- 
sack of treasury boodle, don't you think ? " 

et Undoubtedly, he would, " agreed Goodwin 
calmly, as he rose leisurely to his feet. u I'll be run- 
ning over to the house now, old man. Mrs. Good- 
win is alone. There was nothing important you had 
to say, was there ? " 

" That's all, " said Blythe. " Unless you wouldn't 
mind sending in another drink from the bar as you go 
out. Old Espada has closed my account to profit 
and loss. And pay for the lot, will you, like a good 
fellow?" 

" All right, " said Goodwin. w Buenas noches. " 

"Beelzebub" Blythe lingered over his cups, pol- 
ishing his eyeglasses with a disreputable handker- 
chief. 

"I thought I could do it, but I couldn't," he 
muttered to himself after a time. "A gentleman 
can't blackmail the man that he drinks with." 



CHAPTER EIGHT 

The Admiral 



&PILLED milk draws few tears from an Anchurian 
administration. Many are its lacteal sources; and the 
clocks' hands point forever to milking time. Even the 
rich cream skimmed from the treasury by the be- 
witched Miraflores did not cause the newly-installed 
patriots to waste time in unprofitable regrets. The 
government philosophically set about supplying the 
deficiency by increasing the import duties and by 
" suggesting " to wealthy private citizens that con- 
tributions according to their means would be con- 
sidered patriotic and in order. Prosperity was 
expected to attend the reign of Losada, the new 
president. The ousted office-holders and military 
favourites organized a new "Liberal" party, and 



The Admiral 145 

began to lay their plans for a re-succession. Thus 
the game of Anchurian politics began, like a Chinese 
comedy, to unwind slowly its serial length. Here 
and there Mirth peeps for an instant from the wings 
and illumines the florid lines. 

A dozen quarts of champagne in conjunction with 
an informal sitting of the president and his cabinet 
led to the establishment of the navy and the appoint- 
ment of Felipe Carrera as its admiral. 

Next to the champagne the credit of the appoint- 
ment belongs to Don Sabas Placido, the newly con- 
firmed Minister of War. 

The president had requested a convention of his 
cabinet for the discussion of questions politic and 
for the transaction of certain routine matters of state. 
The session had been signally tedious; the business 
and the wine prodigiously dry. A sudden, prankish 
humour of Don Sabas, impelling him to the deed, 
spiced the grave affairs of state with a whiff of agree- 
able playfulness. 

In the dilatory order of business had come a bulle- 
tin from the coast department of Orilla del Mar 
reporting the seizure by the custom-house officers 



146 Cabbages and Kings 

at the town of Coralio of the sloop Estrella del Noche 
and her cargo of drygoods, patent medicines, granu- 
lated sugar and three-star brandy. Also six Martini 
rifles and a barrel of American whisky. Caught 
in the act of smuggling, the sloop with its cargo 
was now, according to law, the property of the 
republic. 

The Collector of Customs, in making his report, 
departed from the conventional forms so far as to 
suggest that the confiscated vessel be converted to 
the use of the government. The prize was the first 
capture to the credit of the department in ten years. 
The collector took opportunity to pat his depart- 
ment on the back. 

It often happened that government officers re- 
quired transportation from point to point along the 
coast, and means were usually lacking. Further- 
more, the sloop could be manned by a loyal crew 
and employed as a coast guard to discourage the per- 
nicious art of smuggling. The collector also ven- 
tured to nominate one to whom the charge of the 
boat could be safely intrusted — a young man of 
Coralio, Felipe Carrera — not, be it understood, one 



The Admiral 147 

of extreme wisdom, but loyal and the best sailor 
along the coast. 

It was upon this hint that the Minister of War 
acted, executing a rare piece of drollery that so en- 
livened the tedium of executive session. 

In the constitution of this small, maritime banana 
republic was a forgotten section that provided for 
the maintenance of a navy. This provision — with 
many other wiser ones — had lain inert since the 
establishment of the republic. Anchuria had no 
navy and had no use for one. It was characteristic 
of Don Sabas — a man at once merry, learned, 
whimsical and audacious — that he should have dis- 
turbed the dust of this musty and sleeping statute 
to increase the humour of the world by so much as a 
smile from his indulgent colleagues. 

With delightful mock seriousness the Minister of 
War proposed the creation of a navy. He argued 
its need and the glories it might achieve with such 
gay and witty zeal that the travesty overcame with 
its humour even the swart dignity of President 
Losada himself. 

The champagne was bubbling trickily in the veins 



148 Cabbages and Kings 

of the mercurial statesmen. It was not the custom 
of the grave governors of Anchuria to enliven their 
sessions with a beverage so apt to cast a veil of dis- 
paragement over sober affairs. The wine had been 
a thoughtful compliment tendered by the agent of 
the Vesuvius Fruit Company as a token of amicable 
relations — and certain consummated deals — be- 
tween that company and the republic of Anchuria. 

The jest was carried to its end. A formidable, 
official document was prepared, encrusted with chro- 
matic seals and jaunty with fluttering ribbons, bear- 
ing the florid signatures of state. This commission 
conferred upon el Sefior Don Felipe Carrera the title 
of Flag Admiral of the Republic of Anchuria. Thus 
within the space of a few minutes and the dominion 
of a dozen " extra dry," the country took its place 
among the naval powers of the world, and Felipe 
Carrera became entitled to a salute of nineteen guns 
whenever he might enter port. 

The southern races are lacking in that particular 
kind of humour that finds entertainment in the 
defects and misfortunes bestowed by Nature. Ow- 
ing to this defect in their constitution they are not 



The Admiral 149 

moved to laughter (as are their northern brothers) 
by the spectacle of the deformed, the feeble-minded 
or the insane. 

Felipe Carrera was sent upon earth with but half 
his wits. Therefore, the people of Coralio called him 
" El pobrecito loco " — " the poor little crazed one " — 
saying that God had sent but half of him to earth, 
retaining the other half. 

A sombre youth, glowering, and speaking only at 
the rarest times, Felipe was but negatively "loco." 
On shore he generally refused all conversation. He 
seemed to know that he was badly handicapped on 
land, where so many kinds of understanding are 
needed ; but on the water his one talent set him equal 
with most men. Few sailors whom God had care- 
fully and completely made could handle a sailboat as 
well. Five points nearer the wind than the best of 
them he could sail his sloop. When the elements 
raged and set other men to cowering, the deficiencies 
of Felipe seemed of little importance. He was a 
perfect sailor, if an imperfect man. He owned no 
boat, but worked among the crews of the schooners 
and sloops that skimmed the coast, trading and 



150 Cabbages and Kings 

freighting fruit out to the steamers where there was 

no harbour. It was through his famous skill and 

boldness on the sea, as well as for the pity felt for his 

mental imperfections, that he was recommended by 

the collector as a suitable custodian of the captured 

sloop. 

When the outcome of Don Sabas' little pleasantry 
arrived in the form of the imposing and preposterous 
commission, the collector smiled. He had not ex- 
pected such prompt and overwhelming response to 
his recommendation. He despatched a muchacho at 
once to fetch the future admiral. 

The collector waited in his official quarters. His 
office was in the Calle Grande, and the sea breezes 
hummed through its windows all day. The col- 
lector, in white linen and canvas shoes, philandered 
with papers on an antique desk. A parrot, perched 
on a pen rack, seasoned the official tedium with a fire 
of choice Castilian imprecations. Two rooms open- 
ed into the collector's. In one the clerical force of 
young men of variegated complexions transacted 
with glitter and parade their several duties. Through 
the open door of the other room could be seen a 



The Admiral 151 

bronze babe, guiltless of clothing, that rollicked upon 
the floor. In a grass hammock a thin woman, tinted 
a pale lemon, played a guitar and swung contentedly 
in the breeze. Thus surrounded by the routine of 
his high duties and the visible tokens of agreeable 
domesticity, the collector's heart was further made 
happy by the power placed in his hands to brighten 
the fortunes of the " innocent," Felipe. 

Felipe came and stood before the collector. He 
was a lad of twenty, not ill-favoured in looks, but 
with an expression of distant and pondering vacuity. 
He wore white cotton trousers, down the seams of 
which he had sewed red stripes with some vague 
aim at military decoration. A flimsy blue shirt fell 
open at his throat; his feet were bare; he held in his 
hand the cheapest of straw hats from the States. 

"Senor Carrera," said the collector, gravely, pro- 
ducing the showy commission, " I have sent for you 
at the president's bidding. This document that I 
present to you confers upon you the title of Admiral 
of this great republic, and gives you absolute com- 
mand of the naval forces and fleet of our country. 
You may think, friend Felipe, that we have no 



152 Cabbages and Kings 

navy — but yes ! The sloop the Estrella del Noche, 
that my brave men captured from the coast smug- 
glers, is to be placed under your command. The boat 
is to be devoted to the services of your country. You 
will be ready at all times to convey officials of the 
government to points along the coast where they 
may be obliged to visit. You will also act as a coast- 
guard to prevent, as far as you may be able, the crime 
of smuggling. You will uphold the honour and pres- 
tige of your country at sea, and endeavour to place 
Anchuria among the proudest naval powers of the 
world. These are your instructions as the Minister 
of War desires me to convey them to you. Por 
Dios ! I do not know how all this is to be accom- 
plished, for not one word did his letter contain in 
respect to a crew or to the expenses of this navy. Per- 
haps you are to provide a crew yourself, Senor Ad- 
miral — I do not know — but it is a very high honour 
that has descended upon you. I now hand you your 
commission. When you are ready for the boat I 
will give orders that she shall be made over into your 
charge. That is as far as my instructions go." 

Felipe took the commission that the collector 



The Admiral 153 

handed to him. He gazed through the open window 
at the sea for a moment, with his customary expres- 
sion of deep but vain pondering. Then he turned 
without having spoken a word, and walked swiftly 
away through the hot sand of the street. 

" Pobrecito loco!" sighed the collector; and the 
parrot on the pen racks creeched " Loco ! — loco ! — 
loco!" 

The next morning a strange procession filed 
through the streets to the collector's office. At its 
head was the admiral of the navy. Somewhere 
Felipe had raked together a pitiful semblance of a 
military uniform — a pair of red trousers, a dingy 
blue short jacket heavily ornamented with gold braid, 
and an old fatigue cap that must have been cast 
away by one of the British soldiers in Belize and 
brought away by Felipe on one of his coasting voy- 
ages. Buckled around his waist was an ancient 
ship's cutlass contributed to his equipment by Pedro 
Lafitte, the baker, who proudly asserted its inheri- 
tance from his ancestor, the illustrious buccaneer. 
At the admiral's heels tagged his newly-shipped 
crew — three grinning, glossy, black Caribs, bare to 



154 Cabbages and Kings 

the waist, the sand spurting in showers from the 

spring of their naked feet. 

Briefly and with dignity Felipe demanded his 
vessel of the collector. And now a fresh honour 
awaited him. The collector's wife, who played the 
guitar and read novels in the hammock all day, had 
more than a little romance in her placid, yellow 
bosom. She had found in an old book an engraving 
of a flag that purported to be the naval flag of An- 
churia. Perhaps it had so been designed by the 
founders of the nation ; but, as no navy had ever been 
established, oblivion had claimed the flag. Labo- 
riously with her own hands she had made a flag after 
the pattern — a red cross upon a blue-and-white 
ground. She presented it to Felipe with these words : 
" Brave sailor, this flag is of your country. Be true, 
and defend it with your life. Go you with God." 

For the first time since his appointment the ad- 
miral showed a flicker of emotion. He took the 
silken emblem, and passed his hand reverently over 
its surface. "I am the admiral," he said to the 
collector's lady. Being on land he could bring him- 
self to no more exuberant expression of sentiment. 



The Admiral 155 

At sea with the flag at the masthead of his navy, 
some more eloquent exposition of feelings might be 
forthcoming. 

Abruptly the admiral departed with his crew. 
For the next three days they were busy giving the 
Estrella del Noche a new coat of white paint trimmed 
with blue. And then Felipe further adorned him- 
self by fastening a handful of brilliant parrot's 
plumes in his cap. Again he tramped with his faith- 
ful crew to the collector's office and formally notified 
him that the sloop's name had been changed to El 
National. 

During the next few months the navy had its trou- 
bles. Even an admiral is perplexed to know what 
to do without any orders. But none came. Neither 
did any salaries. El National swung idly at anchor. 

When Felipe's little store of money was exhausted 
he went to the collector and raised the question of 
finances. 

"Salaries!" exclaimed the collector, with hands 
raised; "Valgame Dios ! not one centavo of my own 
pay have I received for the last seven months. The 
pay of an admiral, do you ask ? Quien sabe ? Should 



156 Cabbages and Kings 

it be less than three thousand pesos? Mira! you 
will see a revolution in this country very soon. A 
good sign of it is when the government calls all the 
time for pesos, pesos, pesos, and pays none out." 

Felipe left the collector's office with a look almost , 
of content on his sombre face. A revolution would 
mean fighting, and then the government would need 
his services. It was rather humiliating to be an 
admiral without anything to do, and have a hungry 
crew at your heels begging for reales to buy plantains 
and tobacco with. 

When he returned to where his happy-go-lucky 
Caribs were waiting they sprang up and saluted, as 
he had drilled them to do. 

"Come, muchaehos" said the admiral; "it seems 
that the government is poor. It has no money to 
give us. We will earn what we need to live upon. 
Thus will we serve our country. Soon " — his heavy 
eyes almost lighted up — " it may gladly call upon 
us for help." 

Thereafter El Nacional turned out with the other 
coast craft and became a wage-earner. She worked 
with the lighters freighting bananas and oranges out 



The Admiral 157 

to the fruit steamers that could not approach nearer 
than a mile from the shore. Surely a self-supporting 
navy deserves red letters in the budget of any nation. 

After earning enough at freighting to keep himself 
and his crew in provisions for a week Felipe would 
anchor the navy and hang about the little telegraph 
office, looking like one of the chorus of an insolvent 
comic opera troupe besieging the manager's den. 
A hope for orders from the capital was always in his 
heart. That his services as admiral had never been 
called into requirement hurt his pride and patriotism. 
At every call he would inquire, gravely and expect- 
antly, for despatches. The operator would pretend 
to make a search, and then reply: 

" Not yet, it seems, Senor el Almirante — poco 
tiempo ! " 

Outside in the shade of the lime-trees the crew 
chewed sugar cane or slumbered, well content to 
serve a country that was contented with so little 
service. 

One day in the early summer the revolution pre- 
dicted by the collector flamed out suddenly. It had 
long been smouldering. At the first note of alarm the 



158 Cabbages and Kings 

admiral of the navy force and fleet made all sail for 
a larger port on the coast of a neighbouring republic, 
where he traded a hastily collected cargo of fruit for 
its value in cartridges for the five Martini rifles, the 
only guns that the navy could boast. Then to the 
telegraph office sped the admiral. Sprawling in 
his favourite corner, in his fast-decaying uniform, 
with his prodigious sabre distributed between his red 
legs, he waited for the long-delayed, but now soon 
expected, orders. 

" Not yet, Senor el Almirante" the telegraph clerk 
would call to him — " poco tierrvpo / " 

At the answer the admiral would plump himself 
down with a great rattling of scabbard to await the 
infrequent tick of the little instrument on the table. 

"They will come," would be his unshaken reply; 
" I am the admiral." 



CHAPTER NINE 
The Flag Paramount 

i\T the head of the insurgent party appeared that 
Hector and learned Theban of the southern re- 
publics, Don Sabas Placido. A traveller, a soldier, 
a poet, a scientist, a statesman and a connoisseur — 
the wonder was that he could content himself with 
the petty, remote life of his native country. 

"It is a whim of Placido's," said a friend who 
knew him well, " to take up political intrigue. It is 
not otherwise than as if he had come upon a new 
tempo in music, a new bacillus in the air, a new scent, 
or rhyme, or explosive. He will squeeze this revolu- 
tion dry of sensations, and a week afterward will 
forget it, skimming the seas of the world in his 
brigantine to add to his already world-famous col- 



160 Cabbages and Kings 

lections. Collections of what ? Por Dios 1 of every- 
thing from postage stamps to prehistoric stone 
idols." 

But, for a mere dilettante, the aesthetic Placido 
seemed to be creating a lively row. The people 
admired him; they were fascinated by his brilliancy 
and flattered by his taking an interest in so small a 
thing as his native country. They rallied to the call 
of his lieutenants in the capital, where (somewhat 
contrary to arrangements) the army remained faith- 
ful to the government. There was also lively skir- 
mishing in the coast towns. It was rumoured that 
the revolution was aided by the Vesuvius Fruit Com- 
pany, the power that forever stood with chiding smile 
and uplifted finger to keep Anchuria in the class of 
good children. Two of its steamers, the Traveler 
and the Salvador, were known to have conveyed in- 
surgent troops from point to point along the coast. 

As yet there had been no actual uprising in Co- 
ralio. Military law prevailed, and the ferment was 
bottled for the time. And then came the word that 
everywhere the revolutionists were encountering de- 
feat. In the capital the president's forces triumphed ; 



The Flag Paramount 161 

and there was a rumour that the leaders of the revolt 
had been forced to fly, hotly pursued. 

In the little telegraph office at Coralio there was 
always a gathering of officials and loyal citizens, 
awaiting news from the seat of government. One 
morning the telegraph key began clicking, and pres- 
ently the operator called, loudly : " One telegram for 
el Almirante, Don Senor Felipe Carrera!" 

There was a shuffling sound, a great rattling of tin 
scabbard, and the admiral, prompt at his spot of 
waiting, leaped across the room to receive it. 

The message was handed to him. Slowly spelling 
it out, he found it to be his first official order — thus 
running : 

"Proceed immediately with your vessel to mouth 
of Rio Ruiz; transport beef and provisions to bar- 
racks at Alforan. Martinez, General." 

Small glory, to be sure, in this, his country's first 
call. But it had called, and joy surged in the ad- 
miral's breast. He drew his cutlass belt to another 
buckle hole, roused his dozing crew, and in a quarter 
of an hour El Nacional was tacking swiftly down 
coast in a stiff landward breeze. 



162 Cabbages and Kings 

The Rio Ruiz is a small river, emptying into the 
sea ten miles below Coralio. That portion of the 
coast is wild and solitary. Through a gorge in the 
Cordilleras rushes the Rio Ruiz, cold and bubbling, 
to glide, at last, with breadth and leisure, through 
an alluvial morass into the sea. 

In two hours El Nacional entered the river's 
mouth. The banks were crowded with a disposition 
of formidable trees. The sumptuous undergrowth 
of the tropics overflowed the land, and drowned itself 
in the fallow waters. Silently the sloop entered 
there, and met a deeper silence. Brilliant with 
greens and ochres and floral scarlets, the umbrageous 
mouth of the Rio Ruiz furnished no sound or move- 
ment save of the sea-going water as it purled against 
the prow of the vessel. Small chance there seemed 
of wresting beef or provisions from that empty soli- 
tude. 

The admiral decided to cast anchor, and, at the 
chain's rattle, the forest was stimulated to instant 
and resounding uproar. The mouth of the Rio 
Ruiz had only been taking a morning nap. Parrots 
and baboons screeched and barked in the trees; a 



The Flag Paramount 163 

whirring and a hissing and a booming marked the 
awakening of animal life; a dark blue bulk was 
visible for an instant, as a startled tapir fought his 
way through the vines. 

The navy, under orders, hung in the mouth of the 
little river for hours. The crew served the dinner of 
shark's fin soup, plantains, crab gumbo and sour 
wine. The admiral, with a three-foot telescope, 
closely scanned the impervious foliage fifty yards 
away. 

It was nearly sunset when a reverberating " hallo- 
o-o ! " came from the forest to their left. It was an- 
swered; and three men, mounted upon mules, crashed 
through the tropic tangle to within a dozen yards of 
the river's bank. There they dismounted; and one, 
unbuckling his belt, struck each mule a violent blow 
with his sword scabbard, so that they, with a fling 
of heels, dashed back again into the forest. 

Those were strange-looking men to be conveying 
beef and provisions. One was a large and exceed- 
ingly active man, of striking presence. He was of 
the purest Spanish type, with curling, gray-besprin- 
kled, dark hair, blue, sparkling eyes, and the pro- 



164 Cabbages and Kings 

nounced air of a caballero grande. The other two 
were small, brown-faced men, wearing white mili- 
tary uniforms, high riding boots and swords. The 
clothes of all were drenched, bespattered and rent 
by the thicket. Some stress of circumstance must 
have driven them, diable h quatre, through flood, 
mire and jungle. 

"O-hel Sefior Almirante" called the large man. 
"Send to us your boat." 

The dory was lowered, and Felipe, with one of the 
Caribs, rowed toward the left bank. 

The large man stood near the water's brink, waist 
deep in the curling vines. As he gazed upon the 
scarecrow figure in the stern of the dory a sprightly 
interest beamed upon his mobile face. 

Months of wageless and thankless service had 
dimmed the admiral's splendour. His red trousers 
were patched and ragged. Most of the bright but- 
tons and yellow braid were gone from his jacket. 
The visor of his cap was torn, and depended almost 
to his eyes. The admiral's feet were bare. 

"Dear admiral," cried the large man, and his 
voice was like a blast from a horn, " I kiss your hands. 



The Flag Paramount 165 

I knew we could build upon your fidelity. You had 
our despatch — from General Martinez. A little 
nearer with your boat, dear Admiral. Upon these 
devils of shifting vines we stand with the smallest 
security." 

Felipe regarded him with a stolid face. 

" Provisions and beef for the barracks at Alforan," 
he quoted. 

"No fault of the butchers, Almirante mio, that 
the beef awaits you not. But you are come in time 
to save the cattle. Get us aboard your vessel, senor, 
at once. You first, caballeros — a priesa 1 Come 
back for me. The boat is too small." 

The dory conveyed the two officers to the sloop, 
and returned for the large man. 

" Have you so gross a thing as food, good admi- 
ral ? " he cried, when aboard. " And, perhaps, coffee ? 
Beef and provisions ! N ombre de Dios ! a little longer 
and we could have eaten one of those mules that you, 
Colonel Rafael, saluted so feelingly with your sword 
scabbard at parting. Let us have food ; and then we 
will sail — for the barracks at Alforan — no ? " 

The Caribs prepared a meal, to which the three 



166 Cabbages and Kings 

passengers of El National set themselves with fam- 
ished delight. About sunset, as was its custom, the 
breeze veered and swept back from the mountains, 
cool and steady, bringing a taste of the stagnant 
lagoons and mangrove swamps that guttered the low- 
lands. The mainsail of the sloop was hoisted and 
swelled to it, and at that moment they heard shouts 
and a waxing clamour from the bosky profundities 
of the shore. 

" The butchers, my dear admiral, " said the large 
man, smiling, " too late for the slaughter. " 

Further than his orders to his crew, the admiral 
was saying nothing. The topsail and jib were 
spread, and the sloop glided out of the estuary. The 
large man and his companions had bestowed them- 
selves with what comfort they could about the bare 
deck. Belike, the thing big in their minds had been 
their departure from that critical shore ; and now that 
the hazard was so far reduced their thoughts were 
loosed to the consideration of further deliverance. But 
when they saw the sloop turn and fly up coast again 
they relaxed, satisfied with the course the admiral 
had taken. 



The Flag Paramount 167 

The large man sat at ease, his spirited blue eye en- 
gaged in the contemplation of the navy's commander. 
He was trying to estimate this sombre and fantastic 
lad, whose impenetrable stolidity puzzled him. Him- 
self a fugitive, his life sought, and chafing under the 
smart of defeat and failure, it was characteristic of 
him to transfer instantly his interest to the study of a 
thing new to him. It was like him, too, to have con- 
ceived and risked all upon this last desperate and mad- 
cap scheme — this message to a poor, crazed janatico 
cruising about with his grotesque uniform and his far- 
cical title. But his companions had been at their 
wits' end; escape had seemed incredible; and now 
he was pleased with the success of the plan they had 
called crack-brained and precarious. 

The brief, tropic twilight seemed to slide swiftly 
into the pearly splendour of a moonlit night. And 
now the lights of Coralio appeared, distributed against 
the darkening shore to their right. The admiral 
stood, silent, at the tiller; the Caribs, like black pan- 
thers, held the sheets, leaping noiselessly at his short 
commands. The three passengers were watching 
intently the sea before them, and when at length they 



168 Cabbages and Kings 

came in sight of the bulk of a steamer lying a mile out 
from the town, with her lights radiating deep into the 
water, they held a sudden voluble and close-headed 
converse. The sloop was speeding as if to strike mid- 
way between ship and shore. 

The large man suddenly separated from his com- 
panions and approached the scarecrow at the helm. 

(i My dear admiral, " he said " the government has 
been exceedingly remiss. I feel all the shame for it 
that only its ignorance of your devoted service has 
prevented it from sustaining. An inexcusable over- 
sight has been made. A vessel, a uniform and a crew 
worthy of your fidelity shall be furnished you. But 
just now, dear admiral, there is business of moment 
afoot. The steamer lying there is the Salvador. I 
and my friends desire to be conveyed to her, where 
we are sent on the government's business. Do us 
the favour to shape your course accordingly. " 

Without replying, the admiral gave a sharp com- 
mand, and put the tiller hard to port. El National 
swerved, and headed straight as an arrow's course 
for the shore. 

* Do me the favour," said the large man, a trifle res- 



The Flag Paramount 169 

tively, "to acknowledge, at least, that you catch the 
sound of my words. " It was possible that the fellow 
might be lacking in senses as well as intellect. 

The admiral emitted a croaking, harsh laugh, and 
spake. 

" They will stand you, " he said, " with your face to 
a wall and shoot you dead. That is the way they 
kill traitors. I knew you when you stepped into my 
boat. I have seen your picture in a book. You 
are Sabas Placido, traitor to your country. With 
your face to a wall. So, you will die. I am the 
admiral, and I will take you to them. With your 
face to a wall. Yes. " 

Don Sabas half turned and waved his hand, with a 
ringing laugh, toward his fellow fugitives. " To you, 
caballeros, I have related the history of that session 
when we issued that O! so ridiculous commission. 
Of a truth our jest has been turned against us. 
Behold the Frankenstein's monster we have 
created ! " 

Don Sabas glanced toward the shore. The lights 
of Coralio were drawing near. He could see the 
beach, the warehouse of the Bodega Nacional, the 



170 Cabbages and Kings 

long, low cuartel occupied by the soldiers, and, behind 
that, gleaming in the moonlight, a stretch of high 
adobe wall. He had seen men stood with their faces 
to that wall and shot dead. 

Again he addressed the extravagant figure at the 
helm. 

" It is true, " he said, " that I am fleeing the coun- 
try. But, receive the assurance that I care very little 
for that. Courts and camps everywhere are open to 
Sabas Placido. Vaya ! what is this molehill of a re- 
public — this pig's head of a country — to a man like 
me ? I am a paisano of everywhere. In Rome, in 
London, in Paris, in Vienna, you will hear them say: 
* Welcome back, Don Sabas.' Come! — tonto — 
baboon of a boy — admiral, whatever you call your- 
self, turn your boat. Put us on board the Salvador, 
and here is your pay — five hundred pesos in money 
of the Estados Unidos — more than your lying 
government will pay you in twenty years. " 

Don Sabas pressed a plump purse against the 
youth's hand. The admiral gave no heed to the 
words or the movement. Braced against the helm, 
he was holding the sloop dead on her shoreward 



The Flag Paramount 171 

course. His dull face was lit almost to intelligence by 
some inward conceit that seemed to afford him 
joy, and found utterance in another parrot-like 
cackle. 

" That is why they do it, " he said — " so that you 
will not see the guns. They fire — boom ! — and 
you fall dead. With your face to the wall. Yes. " 

The admiral called a sudden order to his crew. 
The lithe, silent Caribs made fast the sheets they 
held, and slipped down the hatchway into the hold 
of the sloop. When the last one had disappeared, 
Don Sabas, like a big, brown leopard, leaped for- 
ward, closed and fastened the hatch and stood, 
smiling. 

" No rifles, if you please, dear admiral, " he said. 
"It was a whimsey of mine once to compile a dic- 
tionary of the Carib lengua. So, I understood your 
order. Perhaps now you will — " 

He cut short his words, for he heard the dull 
"swish" of iron scraping along tin. The admiral 
had drawn the cutlass of Pedro Lafitte, and was dart- 
ing upon him. The blade descended, and it was only 
by a display of surprising agility that the large man 



172 Cabbages and Kings 

escaped, with only a bruised shoulder, the glancing 
weapon. He was drawing his pistol as he sprang, 
and the next instant he shot the admiral down. 

Don Sabas stooped over him, and rose again. 

"In the heart," he said briefly. " Senores, the 
navy is abolished. " 

Colonel Rafael sprang to the helm, and the other 
officer hastened to loose the mainsail sheets. The 
boom swung round; El National veered and began 
to tack industriously for the Salvador. 

"Strike that flag, sefior," called Colonel Rafael. 
" Our friends on the steamer will wonder why we are 
sailing under it. " 

" Well said, " cried Don Sabas. Advancing to the 
mast he lowered the flag to the deck, where lay its too 
loyal supporter. Thus ended the Minister of War's 
little piece of after-dinner drollery, and by the same 
hand that began it. 

Suddenly Don Sabas gave a great cry of joy, and 
ran down the slanting deck to the side of Colonel Ra- 
fael. Across his arm he carried the flag of the extin- 
guished navy. 

"Mire I mire ! sefior. Ah, Dios ! Already can I hear 



The Flag Paramount 173 

that great bear of an Oestreicher shout, ( Du hast mein 
herz gebrochenf Mire! Of my friend, Herr Grunitz, 
of Vienna, you have heard me relate. That man 
has travelled to Ceylon for an orchid — to Patagonia 
for a headdress — to Benares for a slipper — to Mo* 
zambique for a spearhead to add to his famous collec- 
tions. Thou knowest, also, amigo Rafael, that I have 
been a gatherer of curios. My collection of battle 
flags of the world's navies was the most complete in 
existence until last year. Then Herr Grunitz secured 
two, O! such rare specimens. One of a Barbary 
state, and one of the Makarooroos, a tribe on the west 
coast of Africa. I have not those, but they can be 
procured. But this flag, senor — do you know what 
it is ? Name of God ! do you know ? See that red 
cross upon the blue and white ground ! You never saw 
it before ? Seguramente no. It is the naval flag of 
your country. Mire! This rotten tub we stand upon 
is its navy — that dead cockatoo lying there was its 
commander — that stroke of cutlass and single pistol 
shot a sea battle. All a piece of absurd foolery, I 
grant you — but authentic. There has never been 
another flag like this, and there never will be another. 



174 Cabbages and Kings 

No. It is unique in the whole world. Yes. Think 
of what that means to a collector of flags! Do you 
know, Coronet mio, how many golden crowns Herr 
Grunitz would give for this flag? Ten thousand, 
likely. Well, a hundred thousand would not buy it. 
Beautiful flag! Only flag! Little devil of a most 
heaven-born flag! O-he I old grumbler beyond the 
ocean. Wait till Don Sabas comes again to the 
Konigin Strasse. He will let you kneel and touch the 
folds of it with one finger. O-he 1 old spectacled ran- 
sacker of the world ! " 

Forgotten was the impotent revolution, the danger, 
the loss, the gall of defeat. Possessed solely by the 
inordinate and unparalleled passion of the collector, 
he strode up and down the little deck, clasping to his 
breast with one hand the paragon of a flag. He snap- 
ped his fingers triumphantly toward the east. He 
shouted the paean to his prize in trumpet tones, as 
though he would make old Grunitz hear in his musty 
den beyond the sea. 

They were waiting, on the Salvador, to welcome 
them. The sloop came close alongside the steamer 
where her sides were sliced almost to the lower deck 



The Flag Paramount 175 

for the loading of fruit. The sailors of the Salvador 
grappled and held her there. 

Captain McLeod leaned over the side. 

" Well, sefior, the jig is up, I'm told. " 

" The jig is up ? " Don Sabas looked perplexed for 
a moment. u That revolution — ah, yes ! " With a 
shrug of his shoulders he dismissed the matter. 

The captain learned of the escape and the im- 
prisoned crew. 

w Caribs ? " he said ; " no harm in them. " He 
slipped down into the sloop and kicked loose the 
hasp of the hatch. The black fellows came tum- 
bling up, sweating but grinning. 

"Hey! black boys!" said the captain, in a dialect 
•of his own ; " you sabe, catchy boat and vamos back 
same place quick. " 

They saw him point to themselves, the sloop and 
Coralio." Yas, yas!" they cried, with broader grins 
and many nods. 

The four — Don Sabas, the two officers and the 
captain — moved to quit the sloop. Don Sabas lagged 
a little behind, looking at the still form of the late 
admiral, sprawled in his paltry trappings. 



176 Cabbages and Kings 

" Pobrecito loco, " he said softly. 

He was a brilliant cosmopolite and a cognoscente of 
high rank; but, after all, he was of the same race and 
blood and instinct as this people. Even as the simple 
paisanos of Coralio had said it, so said Don Sabas. 
Without a smile, he looked, and said, " The poor little 
crazed one!" 

Stooping he raised the limp shoulders, drew the 
priceless and induplicable flag under them and over 
the breast, pinning it there with the diamond star of 
the Order of San Carlos that he took from the collar 
of his own coat. 

He followed after the others, and stood with them 
upon the deck of the Salvador. The sailors that 
steadied El Nacional shoved her off. The jabbering 
Caribs hauled away at the rigging; the sloop headed 
for the shore. 

And Herr Grunitz's collection of naval flags was 
still the finest in the world. 



CHAPTER TEN 

The Shamrock and the Palm 



v^NE night when there was no breeze, and Co- 
ralio seemed closer than ever to the gratings of 
Avernus, five men were grouped about the door of 
the photograph establishment of Keogh and Clancy. 
Thus, in all the scorched and exotic places of the 
earth, Caucasians meet when the day's work is done 
to preserve the fulness of their heritage by the asper- 
sion of alien things. 

Johnny Atwood lay stretched upon the grass in the 
undress uniform of a Carib, and prated feebly of cool 
water to be had in the cucumber-wood pumps of 
Dalesburg. Dr. Gregg, through the prestige of his 
whiskers and as a bribe against the relation of his im- 
minent professional tales, was conceded the hammock 



178 Cabbages and Kings 

that was swung between the door jamb and a cala- 
bash-tree. Keogh had moved out upon the grass a 
little table that held the instrument for burnishing 
completed photographs. He was the only busy one 
of the group. Industriously from between the cylin- 
ders of the burnisher rolled the finished depictments 
of Coralio's citizens. Blanchard, the French mining 
engineer, in his cool linen viewed the smoke of his cig- 
arette through his calm glasses, impervious to the 
heat. Clancy sat on the steps, smoking his short pipe. 
His mood was the gossip's ; the others were reduced, 
by the humidity, to the state of disability desirable in 
an audience. 

Clancy was an American with an Irish diathesis 
and cosmopolitan proclivities. Many businesses had 
claimed him, but not for long. The roadster's blood 
was in his veins. The voice of the tintype was but 
one of the many callings that had wooed him upon so 
many roads. Sometimes he could be persuaded to 
oral construction of his voyages into the informal and 
egregious. To-night there were symptoms of divulge- 
ment in him. 

"'Tis elegant weather for filibusterin', " he vol- 



The Shamrock and the Palm 179 
unteered. " It reminds me of the time I struggled to 
liberate a nation from the poisonous breath of a ty- 
rant's clutch. 'Twas hard work, 'Tis strainin' to 
the back and makes corns on the hands. " 

" I didn't know you had ever lent your sword to an 
oppressed people," murmured Atwood, from the 
grass. 

"I did," said Clancy; "and they turned it into a 
ploughshare. " 

" What country was so fortunate as to secure your 
aid ? " airily inquired Blanchard. 

"Where's Kamchatka?" asked Clancy, with 
seeming irrelevance. 

"Why, off Siberia somewhere in the Arctic re- 
gions, " somebody answered, doubtfully. 

" I thought that was the cold one, " said Clancy, 
with a satisfied nod. "I'm always gettin' the two 
names mixed. 'Twas Guatemala, then — the hot 
one — I've been filibusterin' with. Ye'll find that 
country on the map. 'Tis in the district known as 
the tropics. By the foresight of Providence, it lies on 
the coast so the geography man could run the names 
of the towns off into the water. They're an inch long, 



180 Cabbages and Kings 

small type, composed of Spanish dialects, and, 'tis my 
opinion, of the same system of syntax that blew up the 
Maine. Yes, 'twas that country I sailed against, sin- 
gle-handed, and endeavoured to liberate it from a 
tyrannical government with a single-barreled pickaxe, 
unloaded at that. Ye don't understand, of course. 
'Tis a statement demandin' elucidation and apolo- 
gies. 

"'Twas in New Orleans one morning about the 
first of June; I was standin' down on the wharf, 
lookin' about at the ships in the river. There was a 
little steamer moored right opposite me that seemed 
about ready to sail. The funnels of it were throwin' 
out smoke, and a gang of roustabouts were carryin' 
aboard a pile of boxes that was stacked up on the 
wharf. The boxes were about two feet square, and 
somethin' like four feet long, and they seemed to be 
pretty heavy. 

" I walked over, careless, to the stack of boxes. I 
saw one of them had been broken in handlin'. 'Twas 
curiosity made me pull up the loose top and look in- 
side. The box was packed full of Winchester rifles. 
' So, so, ' says I to myself; * somebody's gettin' a twist 



The Shamrock and the Palm 181 
on the neutrality laws. Somebody's aidin' with mu- 
nitions of war. I wonder where the popguns are 
goin'?' 

" I heard somebody cough, and I turned around. 
There stood a little, round, fat man with a brown face 
and white clothes, a first-class-looking little man, with 
a four-karat diamond on his finger and his eye full of 
interrogations and respects. I judged he was a kind 
of foreigner — may be from Russia or Japan or the 
archipelagoes. 

" ' Hist ! ' says the round man, full of concealments 
and confidences. * Will the sefior respect the discov- 
eryments he has made, that the mans on the ship 
shall not be acquaint ? The seiior will be a gentle- 
man that shall not expose one thing that by accident 
occur. ' 

" ' Monseer,' says I — for I judged him to be a kind 
of Frenchman — ' receive my most exasperated assur- 
ances that your secret is safe with James Clancy. Fur- 
thermore, I will go so far as to remark, Veev la Lib- 
erty — veev it good and strong. Whenever you hear 
of a Clancy obstructin' the abolishment of existin' 
governments you may notify me by return mail.' 



182 Cabbages and Kings 

"'The seiior is good,' says the dark, fat man, 
smilin' under his black mustache. 'Wish you to 
come aboard my ship and drink of wine a glass.' 

"Bern' a Clancy, in two minutes me and the for- 
eign man were seated at a table in the cabin of the 
steamer, with a bottle between us. I could hear the 
heavy boxes bein' dumped into the hold. I judged 
that cargo must consist of at least 2,000 Winchesters. 
Me and the brown man drank the bottle of stuff, and 
he called the steward to bring another. When you 
amalgamate a Clancy with the contents of a bottle you 
practically instigate secession. I had heard a good 
deal about these revolutions in them tropical localities, 
and I begun to want a hand in it. 

" ' You goin' to stir things up in your country, ain't 
you, monseer ?' says I, with a wink to let him know 
I was on. 

" ' Yes, yes,' said the little man, pounding his fist on 
the table. ' A change of the greatest will occur. Too 
long have the people been oppressed with the promises 
and the never-to-happen things to become. The great 
work it shall be carry on. Yes. Our forces shall in 
the capital city strike of the soonest. CarrambosT 



The Shamrock and the Palm 183 

" * Carrambos is the word,' says I, beginning to in- 
vest myself with enthusiasm and more wine, * likewise 
veeva, as I said before. May the shamrock of old — 
I mean the banana-vine or the pie-plant, or whatever 
the imperial emblem may be of your down-trodden 
country, wave forever.' 

'"A thousand thank-yous,' says the round man, 
'for your emission of amicable utterances. What 
our cause needs of the very most is mans who will the 
work do, to lift it along. Oh, for one thousands 
strong, good mans to aid the General De Vega that he 
shall to his country bring those success and glory! It 
is hard — oh, so hard to find good mans to help in 
the work.' 

"'Monseer,' says I, leanin' over the table and 
graspin' his hand, ' I don't know where your country 
is, but me heart bleeds for it. The heart of a Clancy 
was never deaf to the sight of an oppressed people. 
The family is filibusterers by birth, and foreigners by 
trade. If you can use James Clancy's arm and his 
blood in denudin' your shores of the tyrant's yoke 
they're yours to command.' 

" General De Vega was overcome with joy to con- 



184 Cabbages and Kings 

fiscate my condolence of his conspiracies and predica- 
ments. He tried to embrace me across the table, 
but his fatness, and the wine that had been in the bot- 
tles, prevented. Thus was I welcomed into the ranks 
of filibustery. Then the general man told me his 
country had the name of Guatemala, and was the 
greatest nation laved by any ocean whatever any- 
where. He looked at me with tears in his eyes, and 
from time to time he would emit the remark, * Ah ! big, 
strong, brave mans ! That is what my country need.' 

" General De Vega, as was the name by which he 
denounced himself, brought out a document for me to 
sign, which I did, makin' a fine flourish and curlycue 
with the tail of the * y \ 

"'Your passage-money,' says the general, busi- 
nesslike, 'shall from your pay be deduct.' 

" ' Twill not,' says I, haughty. ' I'll pay my own 
passage.' A hundred and eighty dollars I had in my 
inside pocket, and 'twas no common filibuster I was 
goin' to be, filibusterin' for me board and clothes 

" The steamer was to sail in two hours, and I went 
ashore to get some things together I 'd need. When I 
came aboard I showed the general with pride the 



The Shamrock and the Palm 185 
outfit. 'Twas a fine Chinchilla overcoat, Arctic over- 
shoes, fur cap and earmuffs, with elegant fleece-lined 
gloves and woolen muffler. 

"' Carrambos ! ' says the little general. 'What 
clothes are these that shall go to the tropic ? ' And then 
the little spalpeen laughs, and he calls the captain, and 
the captain calls the purser, and they pipe up the chief 
engineer, and the whole gang leans against the cabin 
and laughs at Clancy's wardrobe for Guatemala. 

" I reflects a bit, serious, and asks the general again 
to denominate the terms by which his country is 
called. He tells me, and I see then that 'twas the 
t'other one, Kamchatka, I had in mind. Since then 
I've had difficulty in separatin' the two nations in 
name, climate and geographic disposition. 

"I paid my passage — twenty-four dollars, first 
cabin — and ate at table with the officer crowd. 
Down on the lower deck was a gang of second-class 
passengers, about forty of them, seemin' to be Da- 
goes and the like. I wondered what so many of 
them were goin' along for. 

" Well, then, in three days we sailed alongside that 
Guatemala. 'Twas a blue country, and not yellow, 



186 Cabbages and Kings 

as 'tis miscolored on the map. We landed at a town 
on the coast, where a train of cars was waitin' for us 
on a dinky little railroad. The boxes on the steamer 
were brought ashore and loaded on the cars. The 
gang of Dagoes got aboard, too, the general and me in 
the front car. Yes, me and General De Vega headed 
the revolution, as it pulled out of the seaport town. 
That train travelled about as fast as a policeman 
goin' to a riot. It penetrated the most conspicuous 
lot of fuzzy scenery ever seen outside a geography. 
We run some forty miles in seven hours, and the 
train stopped. There was no more railroad. 'Twas 
a sort of camp in a damp gorge full of wildness and 
melancholies. They was gradin' and choppin' out 
the forests ahead to continue the road. ' Here/ says 
I to myself, ' is the romantic haunt of the revolution- 
ists. Here will Clancy, by the virtue that is in a 
superior race and the inculcation of Fenian tactics, 
strike a tremendous blow for liberty. ' 

" They unloaded the boxes from the train and be- 
gun to knock the tops off. From the first one that 
was open I saw General De Vega take the Winchester 
rifles and pass them around to a squad of morbid sol- 



The Shamrock and the Palm 187 
diery. The other boxes was opened next, and, be- 
lieve me or not, divil another gun was to be seen. 
Every other box in the load was full of pickaxes and 
spades. 

" And then — sorrow be upon them tropics — the 
proud Clancy and the dishonoured Dagoes, each one 
of them, had to shoulder a pick or a spade, and march 
away to work on that dirty little railroad. Yes ; 'twas 
that the Dagoes shipped for, and 'twas that the fili- 
busterin' Clancy signed for, though unbeknownst to 
himself at the time. In after days I found out about 
it. It seems 'twas hard to get hands to work on that 
road. The intelligent natives of the country was too 
lazy to work. Indeed, the saints know, 'twas unnec- 
essary. By stretchin' out one hand, they could seize 
the most delicate and costly fruits of the earth, and, 
by stretchin' out the other, they could sleep for days 
at a time without hearin' a seven -o'clock whistle or 
the footsteps of the rent man upon the stairs. So, 
regular, the steamers travelled to the United States to 
seduce labour. Usually the imported spade-slingers 
died in two or three months from eatin' the over-ripe 
water and breathin' the violent tropical scenery. 



188 Cabbages and Kings 

Wherefore they made them sign contracts for a year, 
when they hired them, and put an armed guard 
over the poor divils to keep them from runnin' away. 

" 'Twas thus I was double-crossed by the tropics 
through a family f ailin' of goin* out of the way to hunt 
disturbances. 

" They gave me a pick, and I took it, meditatin' an 
insurrection on the spot; but there was the guards 
handlin' the Winchesters careless, and I come to the 
conclusion that discretion was the best part of filibus- 
terin\ There was about a hundred of us in the gang 
startin' out to work, and the word was given to move. 
I steps out of the ranks and goes up to that General 
De Vega man, who was smokin' a cigar and gazin* 
upon the scene with satisfactions and glory. He 
smiles at me polite and devilish. ' Plenty work,' says 
he, for big, strong mans in Guatemala. Yes. T'irty 
dollars in the month. Good pay. Ah, yes. You 
strong, brave man. Bimeby we push those railroad 
in the capital very quick. They want you go work 
now. Adios, strong mans.' 

'* ' Monseer,' says I, lingerin', * will you tell a poor 
little Irishman this: When I set foot on your cock- 



The Shamrock and the Palm 189 
roachy steamer, and breathed liberal and revolution- 
ary sentiments into your sour wine, did you think I 
was conspirin' to sling a pick on your contemptuous 
little railroad ? And when you answered me with pat- 
riotic recitations, humping up the star-spangled 
cause of liberty, did you have meditations of reducin' 
me to the ranks of the stump-grubbin' Dagoes 
in the chain-gangs of your vile and grovelin' 
country ? ' 

"The general man expanded his rotundity and 
laughed considerable. Yes, he laughed very long 
and loud, and I, Clancy, stood and waited. 

"'Comical mans!' he shouts, at last. 'So you 
will kill me from the laughing. Yes; it is hard to 
find the brave, strong mans to aid my country. Rev- 
olutions ? Did I speak of r-r-revolutions ? Not one 
word. I say, big, strong mans is need in Guatemala. 
So. The mistake is of you. You have looked in those 
one box containing those gun for the guard. You 
think all boxes is contain gun ? No. 

"'There is not war in Guatemala. But work? 
Yes. Good. T'irty dollar in the month. You shall 
shoulder one pickaxe, sefior, and dig for the liberty 



190 Cabbages and Kings 

and prosperity of Guatemala. Off to your work. 
The guard waits for you.' 

" * Little, fat, poodle dog of a brown man,' says I, 
quiet, but full of indignations and discomforts, * things 
shall happen to you. Maybe not right away, but as 
soon as J. Clancy can formulate somethin' in the way 
of repartee.' 

" The boss of the gang orders us to work. I tramps 
off with the Dagoes, and I hears the distinguished 
patriot and kidnapper laughin' hearty as we go. 

" 'Tis a sorrowful fact, for eight weeks I built rail- 
roads for that misbehavin' country. I filibustered 
twelve hours a day with a heavy pick and a spade, 
choppin' away the luxurious landscape that grew up- 
on the right of way. We worked in swamps that 
smelled like there was a leak in the gas mains, tramp- 
in' down a fine assortment of the most expensive hot- 
house plants and vegetables. The scene was tropi- 
cal beyond the wildest imagination of the geography 
man. The trees was all sky-scrapers; the under- 
brush was full of needles and pins; there was mon- 
keys jumpin' around and crocodiles and pink-tailed 
mockin'-birds, and ye stood knee-deep in the rotten 



The Shamrock and the Palm 191 
water and grabbled roots for the liberation of Guate- 
mala. Of nights we would build smudges in camp 
to discourage the mosquitoes, and sit in the smoke, 
with the guards pacin' all around us. There was two 
hundred men workin' on the road — mostly Dagoes, 
nigger-men, Spanish-men and Swedes. Three or 
four were Irish. 

" One old man named Halloran — a man of Hiber- 
nian entitlements and discretions, explained it to me. 
He had been workin' on the road a year. Most of 
them died in less than six months. He was dried up 
to gristle and bone, and shook with chills every third 
night. 

"'When you first come/ says he, ye think ye'll 
leave right away. But they hold out your first 
month's pay for your passage over, and by that time 
the tropics has its grip on ye. Ye' re surrounded 
by a ragin' forest full of disreputable beasts — lions 
and baboons and anacondas — waitin' to devour ye. 
The sun strikes ye hard, and melts the marrow in 
your bones. Ye get similar to the lettuce-eaters the 
poetry-book speaks about. Ye forget the elevated 
sintiments of life, such as patriotism, revenge, dis- 



192 Cabbages and Kings 

turbances of the peace and the dacint love of a clane 
shirt. Ye do your work, and ye swallow the kerosene 
ile and rubber pipestems dished up to ye by the Dago 
cook for food. Ye light your pipeful, and say to 
yoursilf, " Nixt week I'll break away, " and ye go to 
sleep and call yersilf a liar, for ye know ye'll never 
do it.' 

" ' Who is this general man,' asks I, ' that calls him- 
self De Vega ?' 

" ' 'Tis the man,' says Halloran, * who is tryin' to 
complete the finishin' of the railroad. 'Twas the proj- 
ect of a private corporation, but it busted, and then 
the government took it up. De Vegy is a big poli- 
tician, and wants to be prisident. The people want 
the railroad completed, as they're taxed mighty on 
account of it. The De Vegy man is pushin' it along 
as a campaign move.' 

" c 'Tis not my way,' says I, 'to make threats 
against any man, but there's an account to be settled 
between the railroad man and James O'Dowd 
Clancy.' 

" * 'Twas that way I thought, mesilf , at first,' Hal- 
loran says, with a big sigh, ' until I got to be a lettuce- 



The Shamrock and the Palm 193 
eater. The fault's wid these tropics. They rejuices 
a man's system. 'Tis a land, as the poet says, " Where 
it always seems to be after dinner." I does me work 
and smokes me pipe and sleeps. There's little else in 
life, anyway. Ye'll get that way yersilf , mighty soon. 
Don't be harbourin' any sintiments at all, Clancy.' 

"'I can't help it,' says I; 'I'm full of 'em. I en- 
listed in the revolutionary army of this dark country 
in good faith to fight for its liberty, honours and silver 
candlesticks ; instead of which I am set to amputatin' 
its scenery and grubbin' its roots. 'Tis the general 
man will have to pay for it.' 

"Two months I worked on that railroad before I 
found a chance to get away. One day a gang of us 
was sent back to the end of the completed line to fetch 
some picks that had been sent down to Port Barrios 
to be sharpened. They were brought on a hand-car, 
and I noticed, when I started away, that the car was 
left there on the track. 

" That night, about twelve, I woke up Halloran 
and told him my scheme. 

"'Run away?' says Halloran. 'Good Lord, 
Clancy, do ye mean it ? Why, I ain't got the nerve. 



194 Cabbages and Kings 

It's too chilly, and I ain't slept enough. Run away ? 
I told you, Clancy, I've eat the lettuce. I've lost my 
grip. 'Tis the tropics that's done it. 'Tis like the 
poet says : " Forgotten are our friends that we have 
left behind; in the hollow lettuce-land we will live 
and lay reclined." You better go on, Clancy. I'll 
stay, I guess. It's too early and cold, and I'm sleepy.' 
" So I had to leave Halloran. I dressed quiet, and 
slipped out of the tent we were in. When the guard 
came along I knocked him over, like a ninepin, with 
a green cocoanut I had, and made for the railroad. I 
got on that hand-car and made it fly. 'Twas yet a 
while before daybreak when I saw the lights of Port 
Barrios about a mile away. I stopped the hand-car 
there and walked to the town. I stepped inside the 
corporations of that town with care and hesitations. I 
was not afraid of the army of Guatemala, but me soul 
quaked at the prospect of a hand-to-hand struggle 
with its employment bureau. 'Tis a country that 
hires its help easy and keeps 'em long. Sure I can 
fancy Missis America and Missis Guatemala passin' 
a bit of gossip some fine, still night across the moun- 
tains. 'Oh, dear,' says Missis America, 'and it's a 



The Shamrock and the Palm 195 
lot of trouble I'm havin' ag'in with the help, senora, 
ma'am/ 'Laws, now!' says Missis Guatemala, 'you 
dont' say so, ma'am ! Now, mine never think of leav- 
in' me — te-he! ma'am,' snickers Missis Guatemala. 

"I was wonderin' how I was goin' to move away 
from them tropics without bein' hired again. Dark 
as it was, I could see a steamer ridin' in the 
harbour, with smoke emergin' from her stacks. I 
turned down a little grass street that run down to 
the water. On the beach I found a little brown 
nigger-man just about to shove off in a skiff. 

" ' Hold on, Sambo,' says I, ' savve English ? ' 

" ' Heap plenty, yes, ' says he, with a pleasant grin. 

" 'What steamer is that ? ' I asks him, ' and where 
is it going ? And what's the news, and the good word 
and the time of day ? ' 

'"That steamer the Conchita,' said the brown 
man, affable and easy, rollin' a cigarette. 'Him 
come from New Orleans for load banana. Him got 
load last night. I think him sail in one, two hour. 
Verree nice day we shall be goin' have. You hear 
some talkee 'bout big battle, maybe so ? You think 
catchee General De Vega, sefior ? Yes ? No ? ' 



196 Cabbages and Kings 

"'How's that, Sambo?' says I, 'Big battle? 
What battle ? Who wants catchee General De Vega ? 
I've been up at my gold mines in the interior for a 
couple of months, and haven't heard any news.' 

"'Oh,' says the nigger-man, proud to speak the 
English, 'verree great revolution in Guatemala one 
week ago. General De Vega, him try be president. 
Him raise armee — one — five — ten thousand mans 
for fight at the government. Those one govern- 
ment send five — forty — hundred thousand soldier 
to suppress revolution. They fight big battle yester- 
day at Lomagrande — that about nineteen or fifty 
mile in the mountain. That government soldier 
wheep General De Vega — oh, most bad. Five hun- 
dred — nine hundred — two thousand of his mans is 
kill. That revolution is smash suppress — bust — 
very quick. General De Vega, him r-r-run away 
fast on one big mule. Yes, carrambos ! The general, 
him r-r-run away, and his armee is kill. That gov- 
ernment soldier, they try find General De Vega verree 
much. They want catchee him for shoot. You 
think they catchee that general, senor ? ' 

" ' Saints grant it ! ' says I. ' 'Twould be the judg- 



The Shamrock and the Palm 197 
ment of Providence for settin' the warlike talent of a 
Clancy to gradin' the tropics with a pick and shovel. 
But 'tis not so much a question of insurrections now, 
me little man, as 'tis of the hired-man problem. 'Tis 
anxious I am to resign a situation of responsibility 
and trust with the white wings department of your 
great and degraded country. Row me in your little 
boat out to that steamer, and I'll give ye five dollars 
— sinker pacers — sinker pacers,' says I, reducin' 
the offer to the language and denomination of the 
tropic dialects. 

M ' Cinco pesos, 9 repeats the little man. ' Five dol- 
lee, you give ? ' 

" 'Twas not such a bad little man. He had hesita- 
tions at first, sayin' that passengers leavin' the coun- 
try had to have papers and passports, but at last he 
took me out alongside the steamer. 

" Day was just breakin' as we struck her, and there 
wasn't a soul to be seen on board. The water was 
very still, and the nigger-man gave me a lift from the 
boat, and I climbed onto the steamer where her side 
was sliced to the deck for loadin' fruit. The hatches 
was open, and I looked down and saw the cargo of 



198 Cabbages and Kings 

bananas that filled the hold to within six feet of 

the top. I thinks to myself, 'Clancy, you better 

go as a stowaway. It's safer. The steamer men 

might hand you back to the employment bureau. 

The tropics'll get you, Clancy, if you don't watch 

out.' 

" So I jumps down easy among the bananas, and 
digs out a hole to hide in among the bunches. In an 
hour or so I could hear the engines goin', and feel the 
steamer rockin', and I knew we were off to sea. They 
left the hatches open for ventilation, and pretty soon 
it was light enough in the hold to see fairly well. I 
got to feelin' a bit hungry, and thought I'd have a 
light fruit lunch, by way of refreshment. I creeped 
out of the hole I'd made and stood up straight. Just 
then I saw another man crawl up about ten feet away 
and reach out and skin a banana and stuff it into his 
mouth. 'Twas a dirty man, black-faced and ragged 
and disgraceful of aspect. Yes, the man was a ringer 
for the pictures of the fat Weary Willie in the funny 
papers. I looked again, and saw it was my general 
man — De Vega, the great revolutionist, mule-rider 
and pick-axe importer. When he saw me the general 



The Shamrock and the Palm 199 
hesitated with his mouth filled with banana and his 
eyes the size of cocoanuts. 

" * Hist ! ' I says. " Not a word, or they'll put us off 
and make us walk. "Veev la Liberty!"' I adds, 
copperin' the sentiment by shovin' a banana into the 
source of it. I was certain the general wouldn't rec- 
ognize me. The nefarious work of the tropics had 
left me lookin' different. There was half an inch of 
roan whiskers coverin' me face, and me costume was 
a pair of blue overalls and a red shirt. 

" ' How you come in the ship, sefior ? ' asked the 
general as soon as he could speak. 

"'By the back door — whist!' says I. "Twas a 
glorious blow for liberty we struck,' I continues : ' but 
we was overpowered by numbers. Let us accept our 
defeat like brave men and eat another banana.' 

" ' Were you in the cause of liberty fightin', senor ? ' 
says the general, sheddin' tears on the cargo. 

" ' To the last,' says I. * 'Twas I led the last des- 
perate charge against the minions of the tyrant. But 
it made them mad, and we was forced to retreat. 
'Twas I, general, procured the mule upon which you 
escaped. Could you give that ripe bunch a little 



200 Cabbages and Kings 

boost this way, general ? It's a bit out of my reach. 

Thanks/ 

"'Say you so, brave patriot?' said the general, 
again weepin'. 'Ah, Dios I And I have not the 
means to reward your devotion. Barely did I my life 
bring away. Carrambos ! what a devil's animal was 
that mule, sefior! Like ships in one storm was I 
dashed about. The skin on myself was ripped away 
with the thorns and vines. Upon the bark of a hun- 
dred trees did that beast of the infernal bump, and 
cause outrage to the legs of mine. In the night to 
Port Barrios I came. I dispossess myself of that 
mountain of mule and hasten along the water shore. 
I find a little boat to be tied. I launch myself and 
row to the steamec I cannot see any mans on board, 
so I climbed one rope which hang at the side. I then 
myself hide in the bananas. Surely, I say, if the ship 
captains view me, they shall throw me again to those 
Guatemala. Those things are not good. Guate- 
mala will shoot General De Vega. Therefore, I am 
hide and remain silent. Life itself is glorious. Lib- 
erty, it is pretty good; but so good as life I do not 
think.' 



The Shamrock and the Palm 201 
" Three days, as I said, was the trip to New Orleans. 
The general man and me got to be cronies of the deep- 
est dye. Bananas we ate until they were distasteful 
to the sight and an eyesore to the palate, but to ba- 
nanas alone was the bill of fare reduced. At night I 
crawls out, careful, on the lower deck, and gets a 
bucket of fresh water. 

" That General De Vega was a man inhabited by 
an engorgement of words and sentences. He added 
to the monotony of the voyage by divestin' himself of 
conversation. He believed I was a revolutionist of 
his own party, there bein', as he told me, a good many 
Americans and other foreigners in its ranks. 'Twas 
a braggart and a conceited little gabbler it was, 
though he considered himself a hero. 'Twas on him- 
self he wasted all his regrets at the failin' of his plot. 
Not a word did the little balloon have to say about the 
other misbehavin' idiots that had been shot, or run 
themselves to death in his revolution. 

" The second day out he was f eelin' pretty braggy 
and uppish for a stowed-away conspirator that owed 
his existence to a mule and stolen bananas. He was 
tellin' me about the great railroad he had been build- 



202 Cabbages and Kings • 

in\ and he relates what he calls a comic incident 
about a fool Irishman he inveigled from New Orleans 
to sling a pick on his little morgue of a narrow-gauge 
line. 'Twas sorrowful to hear the little, dirty general 
tell the opprobrious story of how he put salt upon the 
tail of that reckless and silly bird, Clancy. Laugh, 
he did, hearty and long. He shook with laughm', the 
black-faced rebel and outcast, standin' neck-deep in 
bananas, without friends or country. 

" * Ah, senor,' he snickers, w to the death you would 
have laughed at that drollest Irish. I say to him: 
" Strong, big mans is need very much in Guatemala." 
" I will blows strike for your down-pressed country, " 
he say. " That shall you do, " I tell him. Ah ! it was 
an Irish so comic. He sees one box break upon the 
wharf that contain for the guard a few gun. He 
think there is gun in all the box. But that is 
all pick-axe. Yes. Ah! senor, could you the 
face of that Irish have seen when they set him to 
the work!' 

'* 'Twas thus the ex-boss of the employment bureau 
contributed to the tedium of the trip with merry jests 
and anecdote. But now and then he would weep 



The Shamrock and the Palm 203 
upon the bananas and make oration about the lost 
cause of liberty and the mule. 

" 'Twas a pleasant sound when the steamer bump- 
ed against the pier in New Orleans. Pretty soon we 
heard the pat-a-pat of hundreds of bare feet, and the 
Dago gang that unloads the fruit jumped on the deck 
and down into the hold. Me and the general worked 
a while at passin' up the bunches, and they thought 
we were part of the gang. After about an hour we 
managed to slip off the steamer onto the wharf. 

" 'Twas a great honour on the hands of an obscure 
Clancy, havin' the entertainment of the representa- 
tive of a great foreign filibusterm' power. I first 
bought for the general and myself many long drinks 
and things to eat that were not bananas. The gen- 
eral man trotted along at my side, leavin' all the ar- 
rangements to me. I led him up to Lafayette Square 
and set him on a bench in the little park. Cigarettes 
I had bought for him, and he humped himself down 
on the seat like a little, fat, contented hobo. I look 
him over as he sets there, and what I see pleases me. 
Brown by nature and instinct, he is now brindled 
with dirt and dust. Praise to the mule, his clothes 



204 Cabbages and Kings 

is mostly strings and flaps. Yes, the looks of the 

general man is agreeable to Clancy. 

" I asks him, delicate, if, by any chance, he brought 
away anybody's money with him from Guatemala. 
He sighs and humps his shoulders against the bench. 
Not a cent. All right. Maybe, he tells me, some of 
his friends in the tropic outfit will send him funds 
later. The general was as clear a case of no visible 
means as I ever saw. 

" I told him not to move from the bench, and then I 
went up to the corner of Poydras and Carondelet. 
Along there is O'Hara's beat. In five minutes along 
comes O'Hara, a big, fine man, red-faced, with shinin' 
buttons, swingin' his club. 'Twould be a fine thing 
for Guatemala to move into O'Hara's precinct. 
'Twould be a fine bit of recreation for Danny to sup- 
press revolutions and uprisin's once or twice a week 
with his club. 

" ' Is 5046 workin* yet, Danny ? ' says I, walkin' 
up to him. 

"'Overtime,' says O'Hara, lookin' over me sus- 
picious. ' Want some of it ? ' 

" Fifty-forty-six is the celebrated city ordinance au- 



The Shamrock and the Palm 205 
thorizin , arrest, conviction and imprisonment of per- 
sons that succeed in concealin' their crimes from the 
police. 

" * Don't ye know Jimmy Clancy ? ' says I. * Ye 
pink-gilled monster. ' So, when O'Hara recognized 
me beneath the scandalous exterior bestowed upon 
me by the tropics, I backed him into a doorway and 
told him what I wanted, and why I wanted it. ' All 
right, Jimmy,' says O'Hara. * Go back and hold the 
bench. I'll be along in ten minutes.' 

"In that time O'Hara strolled through Lafayette 
Square and spied two Weary Willies disgracin' one of 
the benches. In ten minutes more J. Clancy and 
General De Vega, late candidate for the presidency of 
Guatemala, was in the station house. The general 
is badly frightened, and calls upon me to proclaim his 
distinguishments and rank. 

" ' The man,' says I to the police, * used to be a rail- 
road man. He's on the bum now. 'Tis a little bug- 
house he is, on account of losin' his job.' 

" 'Carrambos I ' says the general, fizzin' like a little 
soda-water fountain, 'you fought, sefior, with my 
forces in my native country. Why do you say the 



206 Cabbages and Kings 

lies ? You shall say I am the General De Vega, one 

soldier, one caballero — ' 

" ' Railroader,' says I again. ' On the hog. No 
good. Been livin' for three days on stolen bananas. 
Look at him. Ain't that enough ? ' 

"Twenty-five dollars or sixty days, was what the 
recorder gave the general. He didn't have a cent, so 
he took the time. They let me go, as I knew they 
would, for I had money to show, and O'Hara spoke 
for me. Yes; sixty days he got. 'Twas just so long 
that I slung a pick for the great country of Kam — 
Guatemala. " 

Clancy paused. The bright starlight showed a 
reminiscent look of happy content on his seasoned 
features. Keogh leaned in his chair and gave his 
partner a slap on his thinly-clad back that sounded 
like the crack of the surf on the sands. 

" Tell 'em, ye divil, " he chuckled, " how you got 
even with the tropical general in the way of agricul- 
tural manceuvrings. " 

" Havin' no money, " concluded Clancy, with unc- 
tion, " they set him to work his fine out with a gang 
from the parish prison clearing Ursulines Street. 



The Shamrock and the Palm 207 
Around the corner was a saloon decorated genially 
with electric fans and cool merchandise. I made 
that me headquarters, and every fifteen minutes I'd 
walk around and take a look at the little man filibus- 
terin' with a rake and shovel. 'Twas just such a hot 
broth of a day as this has been. And I'd call at him 
' Hey, monseer ! ' and he'd look at me black, with the 
damp showin' through his shirt in places. 

"'Fat, strong mans,' says I to General DeVega, 
* is needed in New Orleans. Yes. To carry on the 
good work. Carrambos! Erin go bragh!' " 



CHAPTER ELEVEN 

The Remnants of the Code 



BREAKFAST in Coralio was at eleven. There- 
fore the people did not go to market early. The 
little wooden market-house stood on a patch of 
short-trimmed grass, under the vivid green foliage 
of a bread-fruit tree. 

Thither one morning the venders leisurely con- 
vened, bringing their wares with them. A porch or 
platform six feet wide encircled the building, shaded 
from the mid-morning sun by the projecting, grass- 
thatched roof. Upon this platform the venders were 
wont to display their goods — newly-killed beef, fish, 
crabs, fruit of the country, cassava, eggs, dulces and 
high, tottering stacks of native tortillas as large 
around as the sombrero of a Spanish grandee. 



The Remnants of the Code 209 

But on this morning they whose stations lay on the 
seaward side of the market-house, instead of spread- 
ing their merchandise formed themselves into a softly 
jabbering and gesticulating group. For there upon 
their space of the platform was sprawled, asleep, the 
unbeautiful figure of " Beelzebub " Blythe. He lay 
upon a ragged strip of cocoa matting, more than ever 
a fallen angel in appearance. His suit of coarse flax, 
soiled, bursting at the seams, crumpled into a thou- 
sand diversified wrinkles and creases, inclosed him 
absurdly, like the garb of some effigy that had been 
stuffed in sport and thrown there after indignity had 
been wrought upon it. But firmly upon the high 
bridge of his nose reposed his gold-rimmed glasses, 
the surviving badge of his ancient glory. 

The sun's rays, reflecting quiveringly from the rip- 
pling sea upon his face, and the voices of the market- 
men woke "Beelzebub" Blythe. He sat up, blink- 
ing, and leaned his back against the wall of the mar- 
ket. Drawing a blighted silk handkerchief from his 
pocket, he assiduously rubbed and burnished his 
glasses. And while doing this he became aware that 
his bedroom had been invaded, and that polite brown 



210 Cabbages and Kings 

and yellow men were beseeching him to vacate in fa- 
vour of their market stuff. 

If the senor would have the goodness — a thousand 
pardons for bringing to him molestation — but soon 
would come the compradores for the day's provisions 
— surely they had ten thousand regrets at disturbing 
him! 

In this manner they expanded to him the intima- 
tion that he must clear out and cease to clog the 
wheels of trade. 

Blythe stepped from the platform with the air of a 
prince leaving his canopied couch. He never quite 
lost that air, even at the lowest point of his fall. It 
is clear that the college of good breeding does not 
necessarily maintain a chair of morals within its walls. 

Blythe shook out his wry clothing, and moved 
slowly up the Calle Grande through the hot sand. He 
moved without a destination in his mind. The 
little town was languidly stirring to its daily life. 
Golden-skinned babies tumbled over one another in 
the grass. The sea breeze brought him appetite, but 
nothing to satisfy it. Throughout Coralio were its 
morning odors — those from the heavily fragrant 



The Remnants of the Code 211 

tropical flowers and from the bread baking in the 
outdoor ovens of clay and the pervading smoke 
of their fires. Where the smoke cleared, the crystal 
air, with some of the efficacy of faith, seemed to 
remove the mountains almost to the sea, bringing 
them so near that one might count the scarred glades 
on their wooded sides. The light-footed Caribs were 
swiftly gliding to their tasks at the waterside. Al- 
ready along the bosky trails from the banana groves 
files of horses were slowly moving, concealed, except 
for their nodding heads and plodding legs, by the 
bunches of green-golden fruit heaped upon their 
backs. On doorsills sat women combing their long, 
black hair and calling, one to another, across the nar- 
row thoroughfares. Peace reigned in Coralio — arid 
and bald peace; but still peace. 

On that bright morning when Nature seemed to 
be offering the lotus on the Dawn's golden platter 
* Beelzebub " Blythe had reached rock bottom. Fur- 
ther descent seemed impossible. That last night's 
slumber in a public place had done for him. As long 
as he had had a roof to cover him there had remained, 
unbridged, the space that separates a gentleman 



212 Cabbages and Kings 

from the beasts of the jungle and the fowls of the air. 
But now he was little more than a whimpering oyster 
led to be devoured on the sands of a Southern sea 
by the artful walrus, Circumstance, and the impla- 
cable carpenter, Fate. 

To Blythe money was now but a memory. He 
had drained his friends of all that their good-fellow- 
ship had to offer; then he had squeezed them to the 
last drop of their generosity; and at the last, Aaron- 
like, he had smitten the rock of their hardening 
bosoms for the scattering, ignoble drops of Charity 
itself. 

He had exhausted his credit to the last real. With 
the minute keenness of the shameless sponger he was 
aware of every source in Coralio from which a glass 
of rum, a meal or a piece of silver could be wheedled. 
Marshalling each such source in his mind, he con- 
sidered it with all the thoroughness and penetration 
that hunger and thirst lent him for the task. All his 
optimism failed to thresh a grain of hope from the 
chaff of his postulations. He had played out the 
game. That one night in the open had shaken his 
nerves. Until then there had been left to him at 



The Remnants of the Code 213 

least a few grounds upon which he could base his 
unblushing demands upon his neighbours' stores. 
Now he must beg instead of borrowing. The 
most brazen sophistry could not dignify by the name 
of " loan " the coin contemptuously flung to a beach- 
comber who slept on the bare boards of the public 
market. 

But on this morning no beggar would have more 
thankfully received a charitable coin, for the demon 
thirst had him by the throat — the drunkard's matu- 
tinal thirst that requires to be slaked at each morn- 
ing station on the road to Tophet. 

Blythe walked slowly up the street, keeping a 
watchful eye for any miracle that might drop manna 
upon him in his wilderness. As he passed the popu- 
lar eating house of Madama Vasquez, Madama's 
boarders were just sitting down to freshly-baked 
bread, aguacates, pines and delicious coffee that sent 
forth odorous guarantee of its quality upon the breeze. 
Madama was serving; she turned her shy, stolid, 
melancholy gaze for a moment out the window ; she 
saw Blythe, and her expression turned more shy and 
embarrassed. " Beelzebub " owed her twenty pesos. 



214 Cabbages and Kings 

He bowed as he had once bowed to less embarrassed 

dames to whom he owed nothing, and passed on. 

Merchants and their clerks were throwing open 
the solid wooden doors of their shops. Polite but 
cool were the glances they cast upon Blythe as he 
lounged tentatively by with the remains of his old 
jaunty air; for they were his creditors almost without 
exception. 

At the little f outain in the plaza he made an apology 
for a toilet with his wetted handkerchief. Across the 
open square filed the dolorous line of friends to the 
prisoners in the calaboza, bearing the morning meal 
of the immured. The food in their hands aroused 
small longing in Blythe. It was drink that his soul 
craved, or money to buy it. 

In the streets he met many with whom he had been 
friends and equals, and whose patience and liberality 
he had gradually exhausted. Willard Geddie and 
Paula cantered past him with the coolest of nods, 
returning from their daily horseback ride along the 
old Indian road. Keogh passed him at another cor- 
ner, whistling cheerfully and bearing a prize of newly- 
laid eggs for the breakfast of himself and Clancy. 



The Remnants of the Code 215 

The jovial scout of Fortune was one of Blythe's vic- 
tims who had plunged his hand oftenest into his 
pocket to aid him. But now it seemed that Keogh, 
too, had fortified himself against further invasions. 
His curt greeting and the ominous light in his full, 
grey eye quickened the steps of " Beelzebub," whom 
desperation had almost incited to attempt an addi- 
tional "loan." 

Three drinking shops the forlorn one next visited 
in succession. In all of these his money, his credit 
and his welcome had long since been spent; but 
Blythe felt that he would have fawned in the dust at 
the feet of an enemy that morning for one draught 
of aguardiente. In two of the pulperias his coura- 
geous petition for drink was met with a refusal so 
polite that it stung worse than abuse. The third 
establishment had acquired something of American 
methods; and here he was seized bodily and cast out 
upon his hands and knees. 

This physical indignity caused a singular change 
in the man. As he picked himself up and walked 
away, an expression of absolute relief came upon his 
features. The specious and conciliatory smile that 



216 Cabbages and Kings 

had been graven there was succeeded by a look of 
calm and sinister resolve. "Beelzebub" had been 
floundering in the sea of improbity, holding by a 
slender life-line to the respectable world that had 
cast him overboard. He must have felt that with 
this ultimate shock the line had snapped, and have 
experienced the welcome ease of the drowning swim- 
mer who has ceased to struggle. 

Blythe walked to the next corner and stood there 
while he brushed the sand from his garments and 
re-polished his glasses. 

" I've got to do it — oh, I've got to do it," he told 
himself, aloud. " If I had a quart of rum I believe 
I could stave it off yet — for a little while. But 
there's no more rum for — ' Beelzebub,' as they 
call me. By the flames of Tartarus! if I'm to sit at 
the right hand of Satan somebody has got to pay the 
court expenses. You'll have to pony up, Mr. Frank 
Goodwin. You're a good fellow; but a gentleman 
must draw the line at being kicked into the gutter. 
Blackmail isn't a pretty word, but it's the next station 
on the road I'm travelling." 

With purpose in his steps Blythe now moved 



The Remnants of the Code 217 

rapidly through the town by way of its landward 
environs. He passed through the squalid quarters 
of the improvident negroes and on beyond the pic- 
turesque shacks of the poorer mestizos. From many 
points along his course he could see, through the 
umbrageous glades, the house of Frank Goodwin on 
its wooded hill. And as he crossed the little bridge 
over the lagoon he saw the old Indian, Galvez, scrub- 
bing at the wooden slab that bore the name of Mira- 
flores. Beyond the lagoon the lands of Goodwin 
began to slope gently upward. A grassy road, 
shaded by a munificent and diverse array of tropical 
flora wound from the edge of an outlying banana 
grove to the dwelling. Blythe took this road with 
long and purposeful strides. 

Goodwin was seated on his coolest gallery, dictat- 
ing letters to his secretary, a sallow and capable 
native youth. The household adhered to the Ameri- 
can plan of breakfast; and that meal had been a 
thing of the past for the better part of an hour. 

The castaway walked to the steps, and flourished 
a hand. 

"Good morning, Blythe," said Goodwin, looking 



218 Cabbages and Kings 

up. " Come in and have a chair. Anything I can 

do for you ? " 

" I want to speak to you in private. " 

Goodwin nodded at his secretary, who strolled out 
under a mango tree and lit a cigarette. Blythe took 
the chair that he had left vacant. 

" I want some money," he began, doggedly. 

" I'm sorry," said Goodwin, with equal directness, 
" but you can't have any. You're drinking yourself 
to death, Blythe. Your friends have done all they 
could to help you to brace up. You won't help 
yourself. There's no use furnishing you with money 
to ruin yourself with any longer." 

"Dear man/' said Blythe, tilting back his chair, 
"it isn't a question of social economy now. It's 
past that. I like you, Goodwin; and I've come to 
stick a knife between your ribs. I was kicked out 
of Espada's saloon this morning; and Society owes 
me reparation for my wounded feelings." 

"I didn't kick you out." 

"No; but in a general way you represent Society; 
and in a particular way you represent my last chance. 
I've had to come down to it, old man — I tried to do 



The Remnants of the Code 219 

it a month ago when Losada's man was here turning 
things over; but I couldn't do it then. Now it's 
different. I want a thousand dollars, Goodwin ; and 
you'll have to give it to me." 

" Only last week," said Goodwin, with a smile, "a 
silver dollar was all you were asking for." 

" An evidence," said Blythe, flippantly, " that I was 
still virtuous — though under heavy pressure. The 
wages of sin should be something higher than a peso 
worth forty-eight cents. Let's talk business. I am 
the villain in the third act; and I must have my mer- 
ited, if only temporary, triumph. I saw you collar 
the late president's valiseful of boodle. Oh, I know 
it's blackmail; but I'm liberal about the price. I 
know I'm a cheap villain — one of the regular saw- 
mill-drama kind — but you're one of my particular 
friends, and I don't want to stick you hard." 

" Suppose you go into the details," suggested Good- 
win, calmly arranging his letters on the table. 

"All right," said "Beelzebub." "I like the way 
you take it. I despise histrionics ; so you will please 
prepare yourself for the facts without any red fire, 
calcium or grace notes on the saxophone. 



220 Cabbages and Kings 

"On the night that His Fly-by-night Excellency 
arrived in town I was very drunk. You will excuse 
the pride with which I state that fact; but it was quite 
a feat for me to attain that desirable state. Some- 
body had left a cot out under the orange trees in the 
yard of Madama Ortiz's hotel. I stepped over the 
wall, laid down upon it, and fell asleep. I was 
awakened by an orange that dropped from the tree 
upon my nose ; and I laid there for awhile cursing Sir 
Isaac Newton, or whoever it was that invented gravi- 
tation, for not confining his theory to apples. 

" And then along came Mr. Miraflores and his true- 
love with the treasury in a valise, and went into the 
hotel. Next you hove in sight, and held a pow-wow 
with the tonsorial artist who insisted upon talking 
shop after hours. I tried to slumber again; but once 
more my rest was disturbed — this time by the noise 
of the popgun that went off upstairs. Then that 
valise came crashing down into an orange tree just 
above my head; and I arose from my couch, not 
knowing when it might begin to rain Saratoga trunks. 
When the army and the constabulary began to arrive, 
with their medals and decorations hastily pinned 



The Remnants of the Code 221 

to their pajamas, and their snickersnees drawn, I 
crawled into the welcome shadow of a banana plant. 
I remained there for an hour, by which time the ex- 
citement and the people had cleared away. And then, 
my dear Goodwin — excuse me — I saw you sneak 
back and pluck that ripe and juicy valise from the 
orange tree. I followed you, and saw you take it 
to your own house. A hundred-thousand-dollar crop 
from one orange tree in a season about breaks the 
record of the fruit-growing industry. 

" Being a gentleman at that time, of course I never 
mentioned the incident to anyone. But this morn- 
ing I was kicked out of a saloon, my code of honour 
is all out at the elbows, and I'd sell my mother's 
prayer-book for three fingers of aguardiente. I'm 
not putting on the screws hard. It ought to be worth 
a thousand to you for me to have slept on that cot 
through the whole business without waking up and 
seeing anything." 

Goodwin opened two more letters, and made mem- 
oranda in pencil on them. Then he called "Man- 
uel ! " to his secretary, who came, spryly. 

" The Ariel— when does she sail ? " asked Goodwin. 



222 Cabbages and Kings 

"Senor," answered the youth, "at three this after- 
noon. She drops down-coast to Punta Soledad to 
complete her cargo of fruit. From there she sails for 
New Orleans without delay." 

"Buenol" said Goodwin. "These letters may 
wait yet awhile." 

The secretary returned to his cigarette under the 
mango tree. 

" In round numbers," said Goodwin, facing Blythe 
squarely, "how much money do you owe in this 
town, not including the sums you have * borrowed* 
from me ? " 

" Five hundred — at a rough guess," answered 
Blythe, lightly. 

" Go somewhere in the town and draw up a sched- 
ule of your debts," said Goodwin. " Come back here 
in two hours, and I will send Manuel with the money 
to pay them. I will also have a decent outfit of cloth- 
ing ready for you. You will sail on the Ariel at 
three. Manuel will accompany you as far as the 
deck of the steamer. There he will hand you one 
thousand dollars in cash. I suppose that we needn't 
discuss what you will be expected to do in return." 



The Remnants of the Code 223 

"Oh, I understand," piped Blythe, cheerily. "I 
was asleep all the time on the cot under Madama 
Ortiz's orange trees; and I shake off the dust of Co- 
ralio forever. I'll play fair. No more of the lotus 
for me. Your proposition is O. K. You're a good 
fellow, Goodwin; and I let you off light. I'll agree 
to everything. But in the meantime — I've a devil 
of a thirst on, old man — " 

" Not a centavo," said Goodwin, firmly, " until you 
are on board the Ariel. You would be drunk in 
thirty minutes if you had money now." 

But he noticed the blood-streaked eyeballs, the re- 
laxed form and the shaking hands of " Beelzebub ; " 
and he stepped into the dining room through the low 
window, and brought out a glass and a decanter of 
brandy. 

" Take a bracer, anyway, before you go," he pro- 
posed, even as a man to the friend whom he enter- 
tains. 

" Beelzebub " Blythe's eyes glistened at the sight of 
the solace for which his soul burned. To-day for 
the first time his poisoned nerves had been denied 
their steadying dose ; and their retort was a mounting 



224 Cabbages and Kings 

torment. He grasped the decanter and rattled its 
crystal mouth against the glass in his trembling 
hand. He flushed the glass, and then stood erect, 
holding it aloft for an instant. For one fleeting mo- 
ment he held his head above the drowning waves of 
his abyss. He nodded easily at Goodwin, raised 
his brimming glass and murmured a "health" that 
men had used in his ancient Paradise Lost. And 
then so suddenly that he spilled the brandy over his 
hand, he set down his glass, untasted. 

" In two hours," his dry lips muttered to Goodwin, 
as he marched down the steps and turned his face 
toward the town. 

In the edge of the cool banana grove " Beelzebub " 
halted, and snapped the tongue of his belt buckle 
into another hole. 

" I couldn't do it," he explained, feverishly, to the 
waving banana fronds. " I wanted to, but I couldn't. 
A gentleman can't drink with the man that he black- 
mails." 



CHAPTER TWELVE 

Shoes 



JOHN DE GRAFFENREID ATWOOD ate o! 

the lotus, root, stem, and flower. The tropics gob- 
bled him up. He plunged enthusiastically into his 
work, which was to try to forget Rosine. 

Now, they who dine on the lotus rarely consume 
it plain. There is a sauce au diable that goes with it; 
and the distillers are the chefs who prepare it. And 
on Johnny's menu card it read "brandy." With a 
bottle between them, he and Billy Keogh would sit 
on the porch of the little consulate at night and roar 
out great, indecorous songs, until the natives, slipping 
hastily past, would shrug a shoulder and mutter 
things to themselves about the "Americanos diablos" 

One day Johnny's mozo brought the mail and 



226 Cabbages and Kings 

dumped it on the table. Johnny leaned from his 
hammock, and fingered the four or five letters de- 
jectedly. Keogh was sitting on the edge of the table 
chopping lazily with a paper knife at the legs of a 
centipede that was crawling among the stationery. 
Johnny was in that phase of lotus-eating when all 
the world tastes bitter in one's mouth. 

"Same old thing!" he complained. " Fool people 
writing for information about the country. They 
want to know all about raising fruit, and how to make 
a fortune without work. Half of 'em don't even 
send stamps for a reply. They think a consul hasn't 
anything to do but write letters. Slit those envelopes 
for me, old man, and see what they want. I'm 
feeling too rocky to move." 

Keogh, acclimated beyond all possibility of ill- 
humour, drew his chair to the table with smiling com- 
pliance on his rose-pink countenance, and began to 
slit open the letters. Four of them were from citi- 
zens in various parts of the United States who seemed 
to regard the consul at Coralio as a cyclopaedia of 
information. They asked long lists of questions, 
numerically arranged, about the climate, products, 



Shoes 227 

possibilities, laws, business chances, and statistics 
of the country in which the consul had the honour of 
representing his own government. 

"Write 'em, please, Billy," said that inert official, 
"just a line, referring them to the latest consular 
report. Tell 'em the State Department will be de- 
lighted to furnish the literary gems. Sign my name. 
Don't let your pen scratch, Billy; it'll keep me 
awake." 

"Don't snore," said Keogh, amiably, "and I'll 
do your work for you. You need a corps of assist- 
ants, anyhow. Don't see how you ever get out a 
report. Wake up a minute ! — here's one more 
letter — it's from your own town, too — Dalesburg." 

" That so ? " murmured Johnny showing a mild 
and obligatory interest. " What's it about ? " 

" Postmaster writes," explained Keogh. " Says a 
citizen of the town wants some facts and advice from 
you. Says the citizen has an idea in his head of 
coming down where you are and opening a shoe store. 
Wants to know if you think the business would pay. 
Says he's heard of the boom along this coast, and 
wants to get in on the ground floor." 



228 Cabbages and Kings 

In spite of the heat and his bad temper, Johnny's 
hammock swayed with his laughter. Keogh laughed 
too; and the pet monkey on the top shelf of the book- 
case chattered in shrill sympathy with the ironical 
reception of the letter from Dalesburg. 

" Great bunions ! " exclaimed the consul. " Shoe 
store! What'll they ask about next, I wonder? 
Overcoat factory, I reckon. Say, Billy — of our 
3,000 citizens, how many do you suppose ever had 
on a pair of shoes ? " 

Keogh reflected judicially. 

" Let's see — there's you and me and — " 

"Not me," said Johnny, promptly and incorrectly, 
holding up a foot encased in a disreputable deerskin 
zapato. "I haven't been a victim to shoes in 
months." 

"But you've got 'em, though," went on Keogh. 
"And there's Goodwin and Blanchard and Geddie 
and old Lutz and Doc Gregg and that Italian that's 
agent for the banana company, and there's old 
Delgado — no; he wears sandals. And, oh, yes; 
there's Madama Ortiz, * what kapes the hotel ' — she 
had on a pair of red kid slippers at the baile the other 



Shoes 229 

night. And Miss Pasa, her daughter, that went 
to school in the States — she brought back some 
civilized notions in the way of footgear. And there's 
the comandantes sister that dresses up her feet on 
feast-days — and Mrs. Geddie, who wears a two 
with a Castilian instep — and that's about all the 
ladies. Let's see — don't some of the soldiers at the 
cuartel — no: that's so; they're allowed shoes only 
when on the march. In barracks they turn their 
little toeses out to grass." 

"'Bout right," agreed the consul. "Not over 
twenty out of the three thousand ever felt leather on 
their walking arrangements. Oh, yes; Coralio is 
just the town for an enterprising shoe store — that 
doesn't want to part with its goods. Wonder if old 
Patterson is trying to jolly me ! He always was full 
of things he called jokes. Write him a letter, Billy. 
I'll dictate it. We'll jolly him back a few." 

Keogh dipped his pen, and wrote at Johnny's dic- 
tation. With many pauses, filled in with smoke and 
sundry travellings of the bottle and glasses, the fol- 
lowing reply to the Dalesburg communication was 
perpetrated : 



230 Cabbages and Kings 

Mr. Obadiah Patterson, 
Dalesburg, Ala. 

Dear Sir : In reply to your favour of July 2d, I 
have the honour to inform you that, according to my 
opinion, there is no place on the habitable globe that 
presents to the eye stronger evidence of the need of 
a first-class shoe store than does the town of Coralio. 
There are 3,000 inhabitants in the place, and not a 
single shoe store! The situation speaks for itself. 
This coast is rapidly becoming the goal of enterpris- 
ing business men, but the shoe business is one that 
has been sadly overlooked or neglected. In fact, 
there are a considerable number of our citizens ac- 
tually without shoes at present. 

Besides the want above mentioned, there is also a 
crying need for a brewery, a college of higher mathe- 
matics, a coal yard, and a clean and intellectual 
Punch and Judy show. I have the honour to be, sir, 
Your Obt. Servant, 
John De Graffenreid Atwood, 

U. S. Consul at Coralio. 

P. S.— Hello ! Uncle Obadiah. How's the old burg 
racking along? What would the government do 
without you and me ? Look out for a green-headed 
parrot and a bunch of bananas soon, from your old 
friend Johnny. 



Shoes 231 

" I throw in that postscript," explained the consul, 
" so Uncle Obadiah won't take offence at the official 
tone of the letter! Now, Billy, you get that corre- 
spondence fixed up, and send Pancho to the post-office 
with it. The Ariadne takes the mail out to-morrow 
if they make up that load of fruit to-day." 

The night programme in Coralio never varied. 
The recreations of the people were soporific and flat. 
They wandered about, barefoot and aimless, speak- 
ing lowly and smoking cigar or cigarette. Looking 
down on the dimly lighted ways one seemed to see 
a threading maze of brunette ghosts tangled with a 
procession of insane fireflies. In some houses the 
thrumming of lugubrious guitars added to the de- 
pression of the triste night. Giant tree-frogs rattled 
in the foliage as loudly as the end man's " bones " in 
a minstrel troupe. By nine o'clock the streets were 
almost deserted. 

Nor at the consulate was there often a change of 
bill. Keogh would come there nightly, for Coralio's 
one cool place was the little seaward porch of that 
official residence. 

The brandy would be kept moving; and before 



232 Cabbages and Kings 

midnight sentiment would begin to stir in the heart 
of the self-exiled consul. Then he would relate to 
Keogh the story of his ended romance. Each night 
Keogh would listen patiently to the tale, and be ready 
with untiring sympathy. 

"But don't you think for a minute" — thus 
Johnny would always conclude his woeful narrative 
— " that Fm grieving about that girl, Billy. I've 
forgotten her. She never enters my mind. If she 
were to enter that door right now, my pulse wouldn't 
gain a beat. That's all over long ago." 

" Don't I know it ? " Keogh would answer. " Of 
course you've forgotten her. Proper thing to do. 
Wasn't quite O. K. of her to listen to the knocks 
that — er — Dink Pawson kept giving you." 

" Pink Dawson ! " — a world of contempt would 
be in Johnny's tones — "Poor white trash! That's 
what he was. Had five hundred acres of farming 
land, though ; and that counted. Maybe I'll have a 
chance to get back at him some day. The Daw- 
sons weren't anybody. Everybody in Alabama 
knows the Atwoods. Say, Billy — did you know 
my mother was a De Graffenreid ? " 



Shoes 233 

* Why, no," Keogh would say; " is that so ? " He 
had heard it some three hundred times. 

" Fact. The De Graffenreids of Hancock County. 
But I never think of that girl any more, do I, Billy ? " 

"Not for a minute, my boy," would be the last 
sounds heard by the conqueror of Cupid. 

At this point Johnny would fall into a gentle slum- 
ber, and Keogh would saunter out to his own shack 
under the calabash tree at the edge of the plaza. 

In a day or two the letter from the Dalesburg post- 
master and its answer had been forgotten by the 
Coralio exiles. But on the 26th day of July the fruit 
of the reply appeared upon the tree of events. 

The Andador, a fruit steamer that visited Coralio 
regularly, drew into the offing and anchored. The 
beach was lined with spectators while the quarantine 
doctor and the custom-house crew rowed out to 
attend to their duties. 

An hour later Billy Keogh lounged into the con- 
sulate, clean and cool in his linen clothes, and grin- 
ning like a pleased shark. 

" Guess what ? " he said to Johnny, lounging in 
his hammock. 



234 Cabbages and Kings 

"Too hot to guess," said Johnny, lazily. 

"Your shoe-store man's come," said Keogh, roll- 
ing the sweet morsel on his tongue, " with a stock of 
goods big enough to supply the continent as far down 
as Terra del Fuego. They're carting his cases over 
to the custom-house now. Six barges full they 
brought ashore and have paddled back for the rest. 
Oh, ye saints in glory ! won't there be regalements in 
the air when he gets onto the joke and has an inter- 
view with Mr. Consul ? It'll be worth nine years in 
the tropics just to witness that one joyful moment." 

Keogh loved to take his mirth easily. He selected 
a clean place on the matting and lay upon the floor. 
The walls shook with his enjoyment. Johnny turned 
half over and blinked. 

" Don't tell me," he said, " that anybody was fool 
enough to take that letter seriously." 

"Four-thousand-dollar stock of goods!" gasped 
Keogh, in ecstasy. " Talk about coals to Newcastle ! 
Why didn't he take a ship-load of palm-leaf fans to 
Spitzbergen while he was about it? Saw the old 
codger on the beach. You ought to have been there 
when he put on his specs and squinted at the 



Shoes 235 

five hundred or so barefooted citizens standing 
around." 

" Are you telling the truth, Billy ? " asked the con- 
sul, weakly. 

" Am I ? You ought to see the buncoed gentleman's 
daughter he brought along. Looks! She makes 
the brick-dust seiioritas here look like tar-babies." 

"Go on," said Johnny, "if you can stop that 
asinine giggling. I hate to see a grown man make 
a laughing hyena of himself." 

" Name is Hemstetter," went on Keogh. " He's 
a — Hello ! what's the matter now ? " 

Johnny's moccasined feet struck the floor with a 
thud as he wriggled out of his hammock. 

" Get up, you idiot," he said, sternly, " or I'll 
brain you with this inkstand. That's Rosine and 
her father. Gad ! what a drivelling idiot old Patter- 
son is! Get up, here, Billy Keogh, and help me. 
What the devil are we going to do? Has all the 
world gone crazy ? " 

Keogh rose and dusted himself. He managed to 
regain a decorous demeanour. 

"Situation has got to be met, Johnny," he said, 



236 Cabbages and Kings 

with some success at seriousness. u I didn't think 
about its being your girl until you spoke. First thing 
to do is to get them comfortable quarters. You go 
down and face the music, and I'll trot out to Good- 
win's and see if Mrs. Goodwin won't take them in. 
They've got the decentest house in town." 

"Bless you, Billy!" said the consul. "I knew 
you wouldn't desert me. The world's bound to 
come to an end, but maybe we can stave it off for a 
day or two." 

Keogh hoisted his umbrella and set out for Good- 
win's house. Johnny put on his coat and hat. He 
picked up the brandy bottle, but set it down again 
without drinking, and marched bravely down to the 
beach. 

In the shade of the custom-house walls he found 
Mr. Hemstetter and Rosine surrounded by a mass 
of gaping citizens. The customs officers were duck- 
ing and scraping, while the captain of the Andador 
interpreted the business of the new arrivals. Rosine 
looked healthy and very much alive. She was gazing 
at the strange scenes around her with amused interest. 
There was a faint blush upon her round cheek as she 



Shoes 237 

greeted her old admirer. Mr. Hemstetter shook 
hands with Johnny in a very friendly way. He was 
an oldish, impractical man — one of that numerous 
class of erratic business men who are forever dissatis- 
fied, and seeking a change. 

" I am very glad to see you, John — may I call you 
John ? " he said. Let me thank you for your prompt 
answer to our postmaster's letter of inquiry. He 
volunteered to write to you on my behalf. I was 
looking about for something different in the way of 
a business in which the profits would be greater. 
I had noticed in the papers that this coast was receiv- 
ing much attention from investors. I am extremely 
grateful for your advice to come. I sold out every- 
thing that I possess, and invested the proceeds in as 
fine a stock of shoes as could be bought in the North. 
You have a picturesque town here, John. I hope 
business will be as good as your letter justifies me 
in expecting." 

Johnny's agony was abbreviated by the arrival 
of Keogh, who hurried up with the news that 
Mrs. Goodwin would be much pleased to place 
rooms at the disposal of Mr. Hemstetter and his 



238 Cabbages and Kings 

daughter. So there Mr. Hemstetter and Rosine 
were at once conducted and left to recuperate from 
the fatigue of the voyage, while Johnny went down 
to see that the cases of shoes were safely stored in the 
customs warehouse pending their examination by the 
officials. Keogh, grinning like a shark, skirmished 
about to find Goodwin, to instruct him not to expose 
to Mr. Hemstetter the true state of Coralio as a shoe 
market until Johnny had been given a chance to 
redeem the situation, if such a thing were possible. 

That night the consul and Keogh held a desperate 
consultation on the breezy porch of the consulate. 

"Send 'em back home," began Keogh, reading 
Johnny's thoughts. 

" I would," said Johnny, after a little silence; " but 
I've been lying to you, Billy. " 

"All right about that," said Keogh, affably. 

"I've told you hundreds of times," said Johnny, 
slowly, " that I had forgotten that girl, haven't I ? " 

"About three hundred and seventy-five," admit- 
ted the monument of patience. 

"I lied," repeated the consul, "every time. I 
never forgot her for one minute. I was an obstinate 



Shoes 239 

ass for running away just because she said 'No* 
once. And I was too proud a fool to go back. I 
talked with Rosine a few minutes this evening up at 
Goodwin's. I found out one thing. You re- 
member that farmer fellow who was always after 
her?" 

" Dink Pawson ? " asked Keogh. 

"Pink Dawson. Well, he wasn't a hill of beans 
to her. She says she didn't believe a word of the 
things he told her about me. But I'm sewed up 
now, Billy. That tomfool letter we sent ruined 
whatever chance I had left. She'll despise me when 
she finds out that her old father has been made the 
victim of a joke that a decent school boy wouldn't 
have been guilty of. Shoes! Why he couldn't sell 
twenty pairs of shoes in Coralio if he kept store here 
for twenty years. You put a pair of shoes on one 
of these Caribs or Spanish brown boys and what'd 
he do? Stand on his head and squeal until he'd 
kicked 'em off. None of 'em ever wore shoes and 
they never will. If I send 'em back home I'll have 
to tell the whole story, and what'll she think of me ? 
I want that girl worse than ever, Billy, and now when 



240 Cabbages and Kings 

she's in reach I've lost her forever because I tried to 

be funny when the thermometer was at 102." 

" Keep cheerful," said the optimistic Keogh. " And 
let 'em open the store. I've been busy myself this 
afternoon. We can stir up a temporary boom in 
foot-gear anyhow. I'll buy six pairs when the doors 
open. I've been around and seen all the fellows and 
explained the catastrophe. They'll all buy shoes 
like they was centipedes. Frank Goodwin will take 
cases of 'em. The Geddies want about eleven pairs 
between 'em. Clancy is going to invest the savings 
of weeks, and even old Doc Gregg wants three pairs 
of alligator-hide slippers if they've got any tens. 
Blanchard got a look at Miss Hemstetter; and as 
he's a Frenchman, no less than a dozen pairs will do 
for him." 

" A dozen customers," said Johnny, " for a $4,000 
stock of shoes ! It won't work. There's a big prob- 
lem here to figure out. You go home, Billy, and 
leave me alone. I've got to work at it all by myself. 
Take that bottle of Three-star along with you — no, 
sir; not another ounce of booze for the United States 
consul. I'll sit here to-night and pull out the think 



Shoes 241 

stop. If there's a soft place on this proposition any- 
where I'll land on it. If there isn't there'll be another 
wreck to the credit of the gorgeous tropics." 

Keogh left, feeling that he could be of no use. 
Johnny laid a handful of cigars on a table and 
stretched himself in a steamer chair. When the 
sudden daylight broke, silvering the harbour rip- 
ples, he was still sitting there. Then he got up, 
whistling a little tune, and took his bath. 

At nine o'clock he walked down to the dingy little 
cable office and hung for half an hour over a blank. 
The result of his application was the following mes- 
sage, which he signed and had transmitted at a cost 
of $33: 

To Pinkney Dawson, 

Dalesburg, Ala. 
Draft for $100 comes to you next mail. Ship me 
immediately 500 pounds stiff, dry cockleburrs. New 
use here in arts. Market price twenty cents pound. 
Further orders likely. Rush. 



CHAPTER THIRTEEN 

Ships 



WlTHIN a week a suitable building had been 
secured in the Calle Grande, and Mr. Hemstetter's 
stock of shoes arranged upon their shelves. The 
rent of the store was moderate; and the stock made 
a fine showing of neat white boxes, attractively 
displayed. 

Johnny's friends stood by him loyally. On the 
first day Keogh strolled into the store in a casual 
kind of way about once every hour, and bought 
shoes. After he had purchased a pair each of exten- 
sion soles, congress gaiters, button kids, low-quar- 
tered calfs, dancing pumps, rubber boots, tans of 
various hues, tennis shoes and flowered slippers, he 
sought out Johnny to be prompted as to the names of 



Ships 243 

other kinds that he might inquire for. The other 
English-speaking residents also played their parts 
nobly by buying often and liberally. Keogh was 
grand marshal, and made them distribute their 
patronage, thus keeping up a fair run of custom for 
several days. 

Mr. Hemstetter was gratified by the amount of 
business done thus far; but expressed surprise that the 
natives were so backward with their custom. 

"Oh, they're awfully shy," explained Johnny, as 
he wiped his forehead nervously. "They'll get the 
habit pretty soon. They'll come with a rush when 
they do come." 

One afternoon Keogh dropped into the consul's 
office, chewing an unlighted cigar thoughtfully. 

"Got anything up your sleeve?" he inquired of 
Johnny. "If you have it's about time to show it. 
If you can borrow some gent's hat in the audience, 
and make a lot of customers for an idle stock of shoes 
come out of it, you'd better spiel. The boys have 
all laid in enough footwear to last 'em ten years; 
and there's nothing doing in the shoe store but dolcy 
far nienty. I just came by there. Your venerable 



244 Cabbages and Kings 

victim was standing in the door, gazing through his 
specs at the bare toes passing by his emporium. The 
natives here have got the true artistic temperament. 
Me and Clancy took eighteen tintypes this morning 
in two hours. There's been but one pair of shoes 
sold all day. Blanchard went in and bought a pair 
of fur-lined house-slippers because he thought he 
saw Miss Hemstetter go into the store. I saw him 
throw the slippers into the lagoon afterwards." 

" There's a Mobile fruit steamer coming in to-mor- 
row or next day," said Johnny. " We can't do any- 
thing until then." 

" What are you going to do — try to create a de- 
mand?" 

"Political economy isn't your strong point," said 
the consul, impudently. "You can't create a de- 
mand. But you can create a necessity for a demand. 
That's what I am going to do." 

Two weeks after the consul sent his cable, a fruit 
steamer brought him a huge, mysterious brown bale 
of some unknown commodity. Johnny's influence 
with the custom-house people was sufficiently strong 
for him to get the goods turned over to him without 



Ships 245 

the usual inspection. He had the bale taken to the 
consulate and snugly stowed in the back room. 

That night he ripped open a corner of it and took 
out a handful of the cockleburrs. He examined 
them with the care with which a warrior examines 
his arms before he goes forth to battle for his lady- 
love and life. The burrs were the ripe August prod- 
uct, as hard as filberts, and bristling with spines as 
tough and sharp as needles. Johnny whistled softly 
a little tune, and went out to find Billy Keogh. 

Later in the night, when Coralio was steeped in 
slumber, he and Billy went forth into the deserted 
streets with their coats bulging like balloons. All up 
and down the Calle Grande they went, sowing the 
sharp burrs carefully in the sand, along the narrow 
sidewalks, in every foot of grass between the silent 
houses. And then they took the side streets and by- 
ways, missing none. No place where the foot of 
man, woman or child might fall was slighted. Many 
trips they made to and from the prickly hoard. And 
then, nearly at the dawn, they laid themselves down 
to rest calmly, as great generals do after planning 
a victory according to the revised tactics, and slept, 



246 Cabbages and Kings 

knowing that they had sowed with the accuracy of 

Satan sowing tares and the perseverance of Paul 

planting. 

With the rising sun came the purveyors of fruits 
and meats, and arranged their wares in and around 
the little market-house. At one end of the town near 
the seashore the market-house stood ; and the sowing 
of the burrs had not been carried that far. The 
dealers waited long past the hour when their sales 
usually began. None came to buy. "Que hay?" 
they began to exclaim, one to another. 

At their accustomed time, from every 'dobe and 
palm hut and grass-thatched shack and dim patio 
glided women — black women, brown women, lemon- 
colored women, women dun and yellow and tawny. 
They were the marketers starting to purchase the 
family supply of cassava, plantains, meat, fowls, and 
tortillas. Decollete they were and bare-armed and 
bare-footed, with a single skirt reaching below the 
knee. Stolid and ox-eyed, they stepped from their 
doorways into the narrow paths or upon the soft grass 
of the streets. 

The first to emerge uttered ambiguous squeals, and 



Ships 247 

raised one foot quickly. Another step and they sat 
down, with shrill cries of alarm, to pick at the new and 
painful insects that had stung them upon the feet. 
" Que picadores diablos ! " they screeched to one an- 
other across the narrow ways. Some tried the grass 
instead of the paths, but there they were also stung 
and bitten by the strange little prickly balls. They 
plumped down in the grass, and added their lamen- 
tations to those of their sisters in the sandy paths. All 
through the town was heard the plaint of the feminine 
jabber. The venders in the market still wondered 
why no customers came. 

Then men, lords of the earth, came forth. They, 
too, began to hop, to dance, to limp, and to curse. 
They stood stranded and foolish, or stooped to pluck 
at the scourge that attacked their feet and ankles. 
Some loudly proclaimed the pest to be poisonous 
spiders of an unknown species. 

And then the children ran out for their morning 
romp. And now to the uproar was added the 
howls of limping infants and cockleburred child- 
hood. Every minute the advancing day brought 
forth fresh victims. 



248 Cabbages and Kings 

Dona Maria Castillas y Buenventura de las Casas 
stepped from her honoured doorway, as was her daily 
custom, to procure fresh bread from the panaderia 
across the street. She was clad in a skirt of flowered 
yellow satin, a chemise of ruffled linen, and wore a 
purple mantilla from the looms of Spain. Her lemon- 
tinted feet, alas ! were bare. Her progress was ma- 
jestic, for were not her ancestors hidalgos of Aragon ? 
Three steps she made across the velvety grass, and set 
her aristocratic sole upon a bunch of Johnny's burrs. 
Dona Maria Castillas y Buenventura de las Casas 
emitted a yowl even as a wild-cat. Turning about, 
she fell upon hands and knees, and crawled — ay, like 
a beast of the field she crawled back to her honour- 
able door-sill. 

Don Senor Ildefonso Federico Valdazar, Juez de la 
Paz, weighing twenty stone, attempted to convey his 
bulk to the pulperia at the corner of the plaza in order 
to assuage his matutinal thirst. The first plunge of 
his unshod foot into the cool grass struck a concealed 
mine. Don Ildefonso fell like a crumbled cathedral, 
crying out that he had been fatally bitten by a deadly 
scorpion. Everywhere were the shoeless citizens 



Ships 249 

hopping, stumbling, limping, and picking from their 
feet the venomous insects that had come in a single 
night to harass them. 

The first to perceive the remedy was Esteban Del- 
gado, the barber, a man of travel and education. Sit- 
ting upon a stone, he plucked burrs from his toes, and 
made oration: 

"Behold, my friends, these bugs of the devil! I 
know them well. They soar through the skies in 
swarms like pigeons. These are dead ones that fell 
during the night. In Yucatan I have seen them as 
large as oranges. Yes! There they hiss like ser- 
pents, and have wings like bats. It is the shoes — the 
shoes that one needs ! Zapatos — zapatos para mi I " 

Esteban hobbled to Mr. Hemstetter's store, and 
bought shoes. Coming out, he swaggered down the 
street with impunity, reviling loudly the bugs of the 
devil. The suffering ones sat up or stood upon one 
foot and beheld the immune barber. Men, women 
and children took up the cry : " Zapatos I zapatos ! " 

The necessity for the demand had been created. 
The demand followed. That day Mr. Hemstetter 
sold three hundred pairs of shoes. 



250 Cabbages and Kings 

" It is really surprising, " he said to Johnny, who 
came up in the evening to help him straighten out the 
stock, " how trade is picking up. Yesterday I made 
but three sales. " 

" I told you they'd whoop things up when they got 
started," said the consul. 

" I think I shall order a dozen more cases of goods, 
to keep the stock up, " said Mr. Hemstetter, beaming 
through his spectacles. 

" I wouldn't send in any orders yet, " advised 
Johnny. "Wait till you see how the trade holds 
up." 

Each night Johnny and Keogh sowed the crop that 
grew dollars by day. At the end of ten days two- 
thirds of the stock of shoes had been sold ; and the 
stock of cockleburrs was exhausted. Johnny cabled 
to Pink Dawson for another 500 pounds, paying 
twenty cents per pound as before. Mr. Hemstetter 
carefully made up an order for $1500 worth of shoes 
from Northern firms. Johnny hung about the store 
until this order was ready for the mail, and succeed- 
ed in destroying it before it reached the postoffice. 

That night he took Rosine under the mango tree by 



Ships 251 

Goodwin's porch, and confessed everything. She 
looked him in the eye, and said: "You are a very 
wicked man. Father and I will go back home. You 
say it was a joke ? I think it is a very serious mat- 
ter." 

But at the end of half an hour's argument the con- 
versation had been turned upon a different subject. 
The two were considering the respective merits of 
pale blue and pink wall paper with which the old 
colonial mansion of the Atwoods in Dalesburg was to 
be decorated after the wedding. 

On the next morning Johnny confessed to Mr. 
Hemstetter. The shoe merchant put on his specta- 
cles, and said through them : " You strike me as being 
a most extraordinary young scamp. If I had not 
managed this enterprise with good business judg- 
ment my entire stock of goods might have been a 
complete loss. Now, how do you propose to dispose 
of the rest of it?" 

When the second invoice of cockleburrs arrived 
Johnny loaded them and the remainder of the shoes 
into a schooner, and sailed down the coast to 
Alazan. 



252 Cabbages and Kings 

There, in the same dark and diabolical manner, he 
repeated his success: and came back with a bag of 
money and not so much as a shoestring. 

And then he besought his great Uncle of the waving 
goatee and starred vest to accept his resignation, for 
the lotus no longer lured him. He hankered for the 
spinach and cress of Dalesburg. 

The services of Mr. William Terence Keogh as 
acting consul, pro tern., were suggested and accepted, 
and Johnny sailed with the Hemstetters back to his 
native shores. 

Keogh slipped into the sinecure of the American 
consulship with the ease that never left him even in 
such high places. The tintype establishment was 
soon to become a thing of the past, although its deadly 
work along the peaceful and helpless Spanish Main 
was never effaced. The restless partners were about 
to be off again, scouting ahead of the slow ranks of 
Fortune. But now they would take different ways. 
There were rumours of a promising uprising in Peru ; 
and thither the martial Clancy would turn his adven- 
turous steps. As for Keogh, he was figuring in his 
mind and on quires of Government letter-heads a 



Ships 253 

scheme that dwarfed the art of misrepresenting the 
human countenance upon tin. 

" What suits me, " Keogh used to say, " in the way 
of a business proposition is something diversified that 
looks like a longer shot than it is — something in 
the way of a genteel graft that isn't worked enough 
for the correspondence schools to be teaching it by 
mail. I take the long end ; but I like to have at least 
as good a chance to win as a man learning to play 
poker on an ocean steamer, or running for governor 
of Texas on the Republican ticket. And when I 
cash in my winnings I don't want to find any widows' 
and orphans' chips in my stack. " 

The grass-grown globe was the green table on 
which Keogh gambled. The games he played were 
of his own invention. He was no grubber after the 
diffident dollar. Nor did he care to follow it with 
horn and hounds. Rather he loved to coax it with 
egregious and brilliant flies from its habitat in the 
waters of strange streams. Yet Keogh was a business 
man; and his schemes, in spite of their singularity, 
were as solidly set as the plans of a building contrac- 
tor. In Arthur's time Sir William Keogh would 



254 Cabbages and Kings 

have been a Knight of the Round Table. In these 
modern days he rides abroad, seeking the Graft in- 
stead of the Grail. 

Three days after Johnny's departure, two small 
schooners appeared off Coralio. After some delay a 
boat put off from one of them, and brought a sun- 
burned young man ashore. This young man had a 
shrewd and calculating eye ; and he gazed with 
amazement at the strange things that he saw. He 
found on the beach some one who directed him to 
the consul's office; and thither he made his way at a 
nervous gait. 

Keogh was sprawled in the official chair, drawing 
caricatures of his Uncle's head on an official pad of 
paper. He looked up at his visitor. 

"Where's Johnny Atwood?" inquired the sun- 
burned young man, in a business tone. 

" Gone, " said Keogh, working carefully at Uncle 
Sam's necktie. 

"That's just like him," remarked the nut-brown 
one, leaning against the table. "He always was a 
fellow to gallivant around instead of 'tending to 
business. Will he be in soon ? " 



Ships 255 

" Don't think so, " said Keogh, after a fair amount 
of deliberation. 

" I s'pose he's out at some of his tomfoolery, " con- 
jectured the visitor, in a tone of virtuous conviction. 
" Johnny never would stick to anything long enough 
to succeed. I wonder how he manages to run his 
business here, and never be 'round to look after it. " 

" I'm looking after the business just now, " admit- 
ted the pro tern, consul. 

"Are you? — then, say! — where's the factory?" 
" What factory ? " asked Keogh, with mildly polite 
interest. 

"Why, the factory where they use them cockle- 
burrs. Lord knows what they use 'em for, anyway! 
I've got the basements of both them ships out there 
loaded with 'em. I'll give you a bargain in this 
lot. I've had every man, woman and child around 
Dalesburg that wasn't busy pickin' 'em for a month. 
I hired these ships to bring 'em over. Everybody 
thought I was crazy. Now, you can have this lot for 
fifteen cents a pound, delivered on land. And if you 
want more I guess old Alabam' can come up to the 
demand. Johnny told me when he left home that if 



256 Cabbages and Kings 

he struck anything down here that there was any 
money in he'd let me in on it. Shall I drive the ships 
in and hitch ? " 

A look of supreme, almost incredulous, delight 
dawned in Keogh 's ruddy countenance. He dropped 
his pencil. His eyes turned upon the sunburned 
young man with joy in them mingled with fear lest 
his ecstasy should prove a dream. 

" For God's sake tell me, " said Keogh, earnestly, 
" are you Dink Pawson ? " 

" My name is Pinkney Dawson, " said the cornerer 
of the cockleburr market. 

Billy Keogh slid rapturously and gently from his 
chair to his favourite strip of matting on the floor. 

There were not many sounds in Coralio on that 
sultry afternoon. Among those that were may be 
mentioned a noise of enraptured and unrighteous 
laughter from a prostrate Irish-American, while a 
sunburned young man, with a shrewd eye, looked on 
him with wonder and amazement. Also the " tramp, 
tramp, tramp " of many well-shod feet in the streets 
outside. Also the lonesome wash of the waves that 
beat along the historic shores of the Spanish Main. 



CHAPTER FOURTEEN 

Masters of Arts 



l\ TWO-INCH stub of a blue pencil was the wand 
with which Keogh performed the preliminary acts of 
his magic. So, with this he covered paper with dia- 
grams and figures while he waited for the United 
States of America to send down to Coralio a suc- 
cessor to Atwood, resigned. 

The new scheme that his mind had conceived, his 
stout heart indorsed, and his blue pencil corrobo- 
rated, was laid around the characteristics and human 
frailties of the new president of Anchuria. These 
characteristics, and the situation out of which Keogh 
hoped to wrest a golden tribute, deserve chronicling 
contributive to the clear order of events. 

President Losada — many called him Dictator — 



258 Cabbages and Kings 

was a man whose genius would have made him con- 
spicuous even among Anglo-Saxons, had not that 
genius been intermixed with other traits that were 
petty and subversive. He had some of the lofty pa- 
triotism of Washington (the man he most admired), 
the force of Napoleon, and much of the wisdom of the 
sages. These characteristics might have justified 
him in the assumption of the title of " The Illustrious 
Liberator," had they not been accompanied by a 
stupendous and amazing vanity that kept him in the 
less worthy ranks of the dictators. 

Yet he did his country great service. With a 
mighty grasp he shook it nearly free from the shackles 
of ignorance and sloth and the vermin that fed upon 
it, and all but made it a power in the council of 
nations. He established schools and hospitals, built 
roads, bridges, railroads and palaces, and bestowed 
generous subsidies upon the arts and sciences. He 
was the absolute despot and the idol of his people. 
The wealth of the country poured into his hands. 
Other presidents had been rapacious without reason. 
Losada amassed enormous wealth, but his people 
had their share of the benefits. 



Masters of Arts 259 

The joint in his armour was his insatiate passion for 
monuments and tokens commemorating his glory. In 
every town he caused to be erected statues of himself 
bearing legends in praise of his greatness. In the walls 
of every public edifice, tablets were fixed reciting 
his splendour and the gratitude of his subjects. His 
statuettes and portraits were scattered through- 
out the land in every house and hut. One of 
the sycophants in his court painted him as St. John, 
with a halo and a train of attendants in full 
uniform. Losada saw nothing incongruous in this 
picture, and had it hung in a church in the capital. 
He ordered from a French sculptor a marble group 
including himself with Napoleon, Alexander the 
Great, and one or two others whom he deemed 
worthy of the honour. 

He ransacked Europe for decorations, employing 
policy, money and intrigue to cajole the orders he cov- 
eted from kings and rulers. On state occasions his 
breast was covered from shoulder to shoulder with 
crosses, stars, golden roses, medals and ribbons. It 
was said that the man who could contrive for him a 
new decoration, or invent some new method of extoll- 



260 Cabbages and Kings 

ing his greatness, might plunge a hand deep into the 

treasury. 

This was the man upon whom Billy Keogh had his 
eye. The gentle buccaneer had observed the rain of 
favours that fell upon those who ministered to the 
president's vanities, and he did not deem it his duty 
to hoist his umbrella against the scattering drops of 
liquid fortune. 

In a few weeks the new consul arrived, releasing 
Keogh from his temporary duties. He was a young 
man fresh from college, who lived for botany alone. 
The consulate at Coralio gave him the opportunity to 
study tropical flora. He wore smoked glasses, and 
carried a green umbrella. He filled the cool, back 
porch of the consulate with plants and specimens so 
that space for a bottle and chair was not to be found. 
Keogh gazed on him sadly, but without rancour, and 
began to pack his gripsack. For his new plot against 
stagnation along the Spanish Main required of him a 
voyage overseas. 

Soon came the Karlsefin again — she of the 
trampish habits — gleaning a cargo of cocoanuts 
for a speculative descent upon the New . York 



Masters of Arts 261 

market. Keogh was booked for a passage on the 
return trip. 

" Yes, I'm going to New York, " he explained to the 
group of his countrymen that had gathered on the 
beach to see him off. " But I'll be back before you 
miss me. I've undertaken the art education of this 
piebald country, and I'm not the man to desert it 
while it's in the early throes of tintypes. " 

With this mysterious declaration of his intentions 
Keogh boarded the Karlsefin. 

Ten days later, shivering, with the collar of his thin 
coat turned high, he burst into the studio of Carolus 
White at the top of a tall building in Tenth Street, 
New York City. 

Carolus White was smoking a cigarette and frying 
sausages over an oil stove. He was only twenty- 
three, and had noble theories about art. 

"Billy Keogh!" exclaimed White, extending the 
hand that was not busy with the frying pan. " From 
what part of the uncivilized world, I wonder! " 

"Hello, Carry," said Keogh, dragging forward a 
stool, and holding his fingers close to the stove. " I'm 
glad I found you so soon. I've been looking for you 



262 Cabbages and Kings 

all day in the directories and art galleries. The free- 
lunch man on the corner told me where you were, 
quick. I was sure you'd be painting pictures yet. " 

Keogh glanced about the studio with the shrewd 
eye of a connoisseur in business. 

"Yes, you can do it," he declared, with many 
gentle nods of his head. "That big one in the 
corner with the angels and green clouds and band- 
wagon is just the sort of thing we want. What 
would you call that, Carry — scene from Coney 
Island, aint it ? " 

" That, " said White, " I had intended to call ' The 
Translation of Elijah,' but you may be nearer right 
than I am. " 

"Name doesn't matter," said Keogh, largely; " it's 
the frame and the varieties of paint that does the 
trick. Now, I can tell you in a minute what I want. 
I've come on a little voyage of two thousand miles 
to take you in with me on a scheme. I thought of 
you as soon as the scheme showed itself to me. How 
would you like to go back with me and paint a pic- 
ture? Ninety days for the trip, and five thousand 
dollars for the job." 



Masters of Arts 263 

" Cereal food or hair-tonic posters ? " asked White. 

"It isn't an ad." 

" What kind of a picture is it to be ? " 

" It's a long story," said Keogh. 

" Go ahead with it. If you don't mind, while 
you talk I'll just keep my eye on these sausages. 
Let 'em get one shade deeper than a Vandyke brown 
and you spoil 'em." 

Keogh explained his project. They were to return 
to Coralio, where White was to pose as a distin- 
guished American portrait painter who was touring 
in the tropics as a relaxation from his arduous and 
remunerative professional labours. It was not an 
unreasonable hope, even to those who trod in the 
beaten paths of business, that an artist with so 
much prestige might secure a commission to per- 
petuate upon canvas the lineaments of the president, 
and secure a share of the pesos that were raining 
upon the caterers to his weaknesses. 

Keogh had set his price at ten thousand dollars. 
Artists had been paid more for portraits. He and 
White were to share the expenses of the trip, and 
divide the possible profits. Thus he laid the scheme 



264 Cabbages and Kings 

before White, whom he had known in the West 

before one declared for Art and the other became a 

Bedouin.. 

Before long the two machinators abandoned the 
rigour of the bare studio for a snug corner of a cafe. 
There they sat far into the night, with old envelopes 
and Keogh's stub of blue pencil between them. 

At twelve o'clock White doubled up in his chair, 
with his chin on his fist, and shut his eyes at the 
unbeautiful wall-paper. 

" I'll go you, Billy," he said, in the quiet tones of 
decision. " I've got two or three hundred saved up 
for sausages and rent; and I'll take the chance with 
you. Five thousand! It will give me two years in 
Paris and one in Italy. I'll begin to pack to-mor- 
row." 

"You'll begin in ten minutes," said Keogh. "It's 
to-morrow now. The Karlsefin starts back at four 
p. m. Come on to your painting shop, and I'll help 

you." 

For five months in the year Coralio is the Newport 
of Anchuria. Then only does the town possess life. 
From November to March it is practically thr seat of 



Masters of Arts %(55 

government. The president with his official family 
sojourns there; and society follows him. The pleas- 
ure-loving people make the season one long holiday 
of amusement and rejoicing. Fiestas, balls, games, 
sea bathing, processions and small theatres contrib- 
ute to their enjoyment. The famous Swiss band 
from the capital plays in the little plaza every even- 
ing, while the fourteen carriages and vehicles in the 
town circle in funereal but complacent procession. 
Indians from the interior mountains, looking like 
prehistoric stone idols, come down to peddle their 
handiwork in the streets. The people throng the 
narrow ways, a chattering, happy, careless stream 
of buoyant humanity. Preposterous children rigged 
out with the shortest of ballet skirts and gilt wings, 
howl, underfoot, among the effervescent crowds. 
Especially is the arrival of the presidential party, at 
the opening of the season, attended with pomp, 
show and patriotic demonstrations of enthusiasm 
and delight. 

When Keogh and White reached their destination, 
on the return trip of the Karlsefin, the gay winter sea- 
son was well begun. As they stepped upon the 



266 Cabbages and Kings 

beach they could hear the band playing in the plaza. 
The village maidens, with fireflies already fixed in 
their dark locks, were gliding, barefoot and coy- 
eyed, along the paths. Dandies in white linen, 
swinging their canes, were beginning their seductive 
strolls. The air was full of human essence, of arti- 
ficial enticement, of coquetry, indolence, pleasure — 
the man-made sense of existence. 

The first two or three days after their arrival were 
spent in preliminaries. Keogh escorted the artist 
about town, introducing him to the little circle of 
English-speaking residents and pulling whatever 
wires he could to effect the spreading of White's fame 
as a painter. And then Keogh planned a more spec- 
tacular demonstration of the idea he wished to keep 
before the public. 

He and White engaged rooms in the Hotel de los 
Estranjeros. The two were clad in new suits of 
immaculate duck, with American straw hats, and 
carried canes of remarkable uniqueness and inutility. 
Few caballeros in Coralio — even the gorgeously uni- 
formed officers of the Anchurian army -— were as 
conspicuous for ease and elegance of demeanour as 



Masters of Arts 267 

Keogh and his friend, the great American painter, 
Sefior White. 

White set up his easel on the beach and made strik- 
ing sketches of the mountain and sea views. The 
native population formed at his rear in a vast, chat- 
tering semicircle to watch his work. Keogh, with 
his care for details, had arranged for himself a pose 
which he carried out with fidelity. His role was 5 that 
of friend to the great artist, a man of affairs and 
leisure. The visible emblem of his position was a 
pocket camera. 

"For branding the man who owns it," said he, 
"a genteel dilettante with a bank account and an 
easy conscience, a steam-yacht aint in it with a 
camera. You see a man doing nothing but loafing 
around making snap-shots, and you know right away 
he reads up well in 'Bradstreet.' You notice these 
old millionaire boys — soon a^ihey get through 
taking everything else in sight they go to taking 
photographs. People are more impressed by a 
kodak than they are by a title or a four-carat 
scarf-pin." So Keogh strolled blandly about 
Coralio, snapping the scenery and the shrinking 



268 Cabbages and Kings 

senoritas, while White posed conspicuously in the 

higher regions of art. 

Two weeks after their arrival, the scheme began to 
bear fruit. An aide-de-camp of the president drove 
to the hotel in a dashing victoria. The president 
desired that Sefior White come to the Casa Morena 
for an informal interview. 

Keogh gripped his pipe tightly between his teeth. 
" Not a cent less than ten thousand," he said to the 
artist — " remember the price. And in gold or its 
equivalent — don't let him stick you with this bar- 
gain-counter stuff they call money here." 

"Perhaps it isn't that he wants," said White. 

" Get out ! " said Keogh, with splendid confidence. 
"I know what he wants. He wants his picture 
painted by the celebrated young American painter 
and filibuster now sojourning in his down-trodden 
country. Off you^o." 

The victoria sped away with the artist. Keogh 
walked up and down, puffing great clouds of smoke 
from his pipe, and waited. In an hour the victoria 
swept again to the door of the hotel, deposited White, 
and vanished. The artist dashed up the stairs, 



Masters of Arts 269 

three at a step. Keogh stopped smoking, and be- 
came a silent interrogation point. 

" Landed," exclaimed White, with his boyish face 
flushed with elation. " Billy, you are a wonder. He 
wants a picture. I'll tell you all about it. By 
Heavens! that dictator chap is a corker! He's a 
dictator clear down to his finger-ends. He's a kind 
of combination of Julius Caesar, Lucifer and Chaun- 
cey Depew done in sepia. Polite and grim — that's 
his way. The room I saw him in was about ten 
acres big, and looked like a Mississippi steamboat 
with its gilding and mirrors and white paint. He talks 
English better than I can ever hope to. The matter 
of the price came up. I mentioned ten thousand. 
I expected him to call the guard and have me taken 
out and shot. He didn't move an eyelash. He just 
waved one of his chestnut hands in a careless way, 
and said, 'Whatever you say.' I am to go back to- 
morrow and discuss with him the details of the 
picture." 

Keogh hung his head. Self-abasement was easy to 
read in his downcast countenance. 

"I'm failing, Carry," he said, sorrowfully. "I'm 



270 Cabbages and Kings 

not fit to handle these man's-size schemes any longer. 
Peddling oranges in a push-cart is about the suitable 
graft for me. When I said ten thousand, I swear I 
thought I had sized up that brown man's limit to 
within two cents. He'd have melted down for 
fifteen thousand just as easy. Say — Carry — you'll 
see old man Keogh safe in some nice, quiet idiot 
asylum, won't you, if he makes a break like that 
again ? " -< 

The Casa Morena, although only one story in 
height, was a building of brown stone, luxurious as 
a palace in its interior. It stood on a low hill in a 
walled garden of splendid tropical flora at the upper 
edge of Coralio. The next day the president's car- 
riage came again for the artist. Keogh went out for 
a walk along the beach, where he and his "picture 
box" were now familiar sights. When he returned 
to the hotel White was sitting in a steamer-chair on 
the balcony. 

" Well," said Keogh, " did you and His Nibs decide 
on the kind of a chromo he wants ? " 

White got up and walked back and forth on the 
balcony a few times. Then he stopped, and laughed 



Masters of Arts 271 

strangely. His face was flushed, and his eyes were 
bright with a kind of angry amusement. 

"Look here, Billy," he said, somewhat roughly, 
" when you first came to me in my studio and men- 
tioned a picture, I thought you wanted a Smashed 
Oats or a Hair Tonic poster painted on a range of 
mountains or the side of a continent. Well, either 
of those jobs would have been Art in its highest form 
compared to the one you've steered me against. I 
can't paint that picture, Billy. You've got to let me 
out. Let me try to tell you what that barbarian 
wants. He had it all planned out and even a sketch 
made of his idea. The old boy doesn't draw badly 
at all. But, ye goddesses of Art! listen to the mon- 
strosity he expects me to paint. He wants himself 
in the centre of the canvas, of course. He is to be 
painted as Jupiter sitting on Olympus, with the 
clouds at his feet. At one side of him stands George 
Washington, in full regimentals, with his hand on the 
president's shoulder. An angel with outstretched 
wings hovers overhead, and is placing a laurel wreath 
on the president's head, crowning him — Queen of 
the May, I suppose. In the background is to be 



272 Cabbages and Kings 

cannon, more angels and soldiers. The man who 
would paint that picture would have to have the soul 
of a dog, and would deserve to go down into oblivion 
without even a tin can tied to his tail to sound his 
memory.' ' 

Little beads of moisture crept out all over Billy 
Keogh's brow. The stub of his blue pencil had not 
figured out a contingency like this. The machinery 
of his plan had run with flattering smoothness until 
now. He dragged another chair upon the balcony, 
and got White back to his seat. He lit his pipe with 
apparent calm. 

" Now, sonny," he said, with gentle grimness, " you 
and me will have an Art to Art talk. You've got your 
art and I've got mine. Yours is the real Pierian 
stuff that turns up its nose at bock-beer signs and 
oleographs of the Old Mill. Mine's the art of 
Business. This was my scheme, and it worked 
out like two-and-two. Paint that president man 
as Old King Cole, or Venus, or a landscape, or 
a fresco, or a bunch of lilies, or anything he thinks 
he looks like. But get the paint on the canvas and 
collect the spoils. You wouldn't throw me down, 



Masters of Arts 273 

Carry, at this stage of the game. Think of that 
ten thousand." 

" I can't help thinking of it," said White, and that's 
what hurts. I'm tempted to throw every ideal I ever 
had down in the mire, and steep my soul in infamy 
by painting that picture. That five thousand meant 
three years of foreign study to me, and I'd almost 
sell my soul for that." 

" Now it ain't as bad as that," said Keogh, sooth- 
ingly. "It's a business proposition. It's so much 
paint and time against money. I don't fall in with 
your idea that that picture would so everlastingly jolt 
the art side of the question. George Washington 
was all right, you know, and nobody could say a word 
against the angel. I don't think so bad of that group. 
If you was to give Jupiter a pair of epaulets and a 
sword, and kind of work the clouds around to look 
like a blackberry patch, it wouldn't make such a bad 
battle scene. Why, if we hadn't already settled on 
the price, he ought to pay an extra thousand for 
Washington, and the angel ought to raise it five hun- 
dred." 

"You don't understand, Billy," said White, with 



274 Cabbages and Kings 

an uneasy laugh "Some of us fellows who try to 
paint have big notions about Art. I wanted to paint 
a picture some day that people would stand before 
and forget that it was made of paint. I wanted it to 
creep into them like a bar of music and mushroom 
there like a soft bullet. And I wanted 'em to go 
away and ask, * What else has he done ? ' And I 
didn't want 'em to find a thing; not a portrait nor 
a magazine cover nor an illustration nor a drawing 
of a girl — nothing but the picture. That's why I've 
lived on fried sausages, and tried to keep true to 
myself. I persuaded myself to do this portrait for 
the chance it might give me to study abroad. But 
this howling, screaming caricature! Good Lord! 
can't you see how it is ? " 

" Sure," said Keogh, as tenderly as he would have 
spoken to a child, and he laid a long forefinger on 
White's knee. "I see. It's bad to have your art 
all slugged up like that. I know. You wanted to 
paint a big thing like the panorama of the battle of 
Gettysburg. But let me kalsomine you a little men- 
tal sketch to consider. Up to date we're out $385.50 
on this scheme. Our capital took every cent both 



Masters of Arts 275 

of us could raise. We've got about enough left to 
get back to New York on. I need my share of that 
ten thousand. I want to work a copper deal in 
Idaho, and make a hundred thousand. That's the 
business end of the thing. Come down off your art 
perch, Carry, and let's land that hatful of dollars." 

"Billy," said White, with an effort, "I'll try. I 
won't say I'll do it, but I'll try. I'll go at it, and put 
it through if I can." 

" That's business," said Keogh, heartily. " Good 
boy! Now, here's another thing — rush that picture 
— crowd it through as quick as you can. Get a 
couple of boys to help you mix the paint if necessary. 
I've picked up some pointers around town. The 
people here are beginning to get sick of Mr. President. 
They say he's been too free with concessions; and 
they accuse him of trying to make a dicker with Eng- 
land to sell out the country. We want that picture 
done and paid for before there's any row." 

In the great patio of Casa Morena, the president 
caused to be stretched a huge canvas. Under this 
White set up his temporary studio. For two hours 
each day the great man sat to him. 



276 Cabbages and Kings 

White worked faithfully. But, as the work pro- 
gressed, he had seasons of bitter scorn, of infinite 
self -contempt, of sullen gloom and sardonic gaiety. 
Keogh, with the patience of a great general, soothed, 
coaxed, argued — kept him at the picture. 

At the end of a month White announced that the 
picture was completed — Jupiter, Washington, an- 
gels, clouds, cannon and all. His face was pale and 
his mouth drawn straight when he told Keogh. He 
said the president was much pleased with it. It was 
to be hung in the National Gallery of Statesmen and 
Heroes. The artist had been requested to return to 
Casa Morena on the following day to receive pay- 
ment. At the appointed time he left the hotel, silent 
under his friend's joyful talk of their success. 

An hour later he walked into the room where 
Keogh was waiting, threw his hat on the floor, and 
sat upon the table. 

" Billy," he said, in strained and labouring tones, 
" I've a little money out West in a small business that 
my brother is running. It's what I've been living on 
while I've been studying art. I'll draw out my share 
and pay you back what you've lost on this scheme." 



Masters of Arts 277 

" Lost ! " exclaimed Keogh, jumping up. u Didn't 
you get paid for the picture ? " 

"Yes, I got paid," said White. "But just now 
there isn't any picture, and there isn't any pay. If 
you care to hear about it, here are the edifying de- 
tails. The president and I were looking at the paint- 
ing. His secretary brought a bank draft on New 
York for ten thousand dollars and handed it to me. 
The moment I touched it I went wild. I tore it into 
little pieces and threw them on the floor. A work- 
man was repainting the pillars inside the patio. A 
bucket of his paint happened to be convenient. I 
picked up his brush and slapped a quart of blue paint 
all over that ten-thousand-dollar nightmare. I bowed, 
and walked out. The president didn't move or 
speak. That was one time he was taken by surprise. 
It's tough on you, Billy, but I couldn't help it." 

There seemed to be excitement in Coralio. Out- 
side there was a confused, rising murmur pierced by 
high-pitched cries. "Bajo el traidor — Muerte el 
traidor I " were the words they seemed to form. 

"Listen to that!" exclaimed White, bitterly; "I 
know that much Spanish. They're shouting, ' Down 



278 Cabbages and Kings 

with the traitor!' I heard them before. I felt that 
they meant me. I was a traitor to Art. The picture 
had to go." 

" ' Down with the blank fool ' would have suited 
your case better," said Keogh, with fiery emphasis. 
"You tear up ten thousand dollars like an old rag 
because the way you've spread on five dollars' worth 
of paint hurts your conscience. Next time I pick a 
side-partner in a scheme the man has got to go before 
a notary and swear he never even heard the word 
* ideal ' mentioned." 

Keogh strode from the room, white-hot. White 
paid little attention to his resentment. The scorn of 
Billy Keogh seemed a trifling thing beside the greater 
self -scorn he had escaped. 

In Coralio the excitement waxed. An outburst 
was imminent. The cause of this demonstration 
of displeasure was the presence in the town of a big, 
pink-cheeked Englishman, who, it was said, was an 
agent of his government come to clinch the bargain 
by which the president placed his people in the hands 
of a foreign power. It was charged that not only had 
he given away priceless concessions, but that the 



Masters of Arts 279 

public debt was to be transferred into the hands of 
the English, and the custom-houses turned over to 
them as a guarantee. The long-enduring people had 
determined to make their protest felt. 

On that night, in Coralio and in other towns, their 
ire found vent. Yelling mobs, mercurial but danger- 
ous, roamed the streets. They overthrew the great 
bronze statue of the president that stood in the cen- 
tre of the plaza, and hacked it to shapeless pieces. 
They tore from public buildings the tablets set there 
proclaiming the glory of the "Illustrious Liberator." 
His pictures in the government offices were demol- 
ished. The mobs even attacked the Casa Morena, 
but were driven away by the military, which remained 
faithful to the executive. All the night terror 
reigned. 

The greatness of Losada was shown by the fact 
that by noon the next day order was restored, and he 
was still absolute. He issued proclamations deny- 
ing positively that any negotiation of any kind had 
been entered into with England. Sir Stafford Vaughn, 
the pink-cheeked Englishman, also declared in plac- 
ards and in public print that his presence there had 



280 Cabbages and Kings 

no international significance. He was a traveller 
without guile. In fact (so he stated) , he had not even 
spoken with the president or been in his presence 
since his arrival. 

During this disturbance, White was preparing for 
his homeward voyage in the steamship that was to 
sail within two or three days. About noon, Keogh, 
the restless, took his camera out with the hope of 
speeding the lagging hours. The town was now as 
quiet as if peace had never departed from her perch 
on the red-tiled roofs. 

About the middle of the afternoon, Keogh hurried 
back to the hotel with something decidedly special 
in his air. He retired to the little room where he de- 
veloped his pictures. 

Later on he came out to White on the balcony, 
with a luminous, grim, predatory smile on his face. 

" Do you know what that is ? " he asked, holding 
up a 4x5 photograph mounted on cardboard. 

" Snap-shot of a senorita sitting in the sand — allit- 
eration unintentional," guessed White, lazily. 

"Wrong," said Keogh with shining eyes. "It's 
a slung-shot. It's a can of dynamite. It's a gold 



Masters of Arts 281 

mine. It's a sight j draft on your president man for 
twenty thousand dollars — yes, sir — twenty thou- 
sand this time, and no spoiling the picture. No 
ethics of art in the way. Art ! You with your smelly 
little tubes! I've got you skinned to death with a 
kodak. Take a look at that." 

White took the picture in his hand, and gave a long 
whistle. 

" Jove! " he exclaimed, "but wouldn't that stir up 
a row in town if you let it be seen. How in the world 
did you get it, Billy ? " 

"You know that high wall around the president 
man's back garden? I was up there trying to get 
a bird's-eye of the town. I happened to notice a 
chink in the wall where a stone and a lot of plaster 
had slid out. Thinks I, I'll take a peep through to 
see how Mr. President's cabbages are growing. The 
first thing I saw was him and this Sir Englishman sit- 
ting at a little table about twenty feet away. They 
had the table all spread over with documents, and 
they were hobnobbing over them as thick as two 
pirates. 'Twas a nice corner of the garden, all 
private and shady with palms and orange trees, and 



282 Cabbages and Kings 

they had a pail of champagne set by handy in the 
grass. I knew then was the time for me to make my 
big hit in Art. So I raised the machine up to the 
crack, and pressed the button. Just as I did so them 
old boys shook hands on the deal — you see they 
took that way in the picture." 

Keogh put on his coat and hat. 

" What are you going to do with it ? " asked White. 

" Me, " said Keogh in a hurt tone, " why, I'm going 
to tie a pink ribbon to it and hang it on the what-not, 
of course. I'm surprised at you. But while I'm out 
you just try to figure out what ginger-cake potentate 
would be most likely to want to buy this work of 
art for his private collection — just to keep it out of 
circulation." 

The sunset was reddening the tops of the cocoanut 
palms when Billy Keogh came back from Casa Mo- 
rena. He nodded to the artist's questioning gaze; 
and lay down on a cot with his hands under the back 
of his head. 

" I saw him. He paid the money like a little man. 
They didn't want to let me in at first. I told 'em it 
was important. Yes, that president man is on the 



Masters of Arts 283 

plenty-able list. He's got a beautiful business system 
about the way he uses his brains. All I had to do 
was to hold up the photograph so he could see it, and 
name the price. He just smiled, and walked over to 
a safe and got the cash. Twenty one-thousand-dol- 
lar brand-new United States Treasury notes he laid 
on the table, like I'd pay out a dollar and a quarter. 
Fine notes, too — they crackled with a sound like 
burning the brush off a ten-acre lot. " 

" Let's try the feel of one, " said White, curiously. 
"I never saw a thousand-dollar bill." Keogh did 
not immediately respond. 

" Carry, " he said, in an absent-minded way, " you 
think a heap of your art, don't you ? " 

" More, " said White, frankly, " than has been for 
the financial good of myself and my friends. " 

" I thought you were a fool the other day, " went on 
Keogh, quietly, "and I'm not sure now that you 
wasn't. But if you was, so am I. I've been in some 
funny deals, Carry, but I've always managed to 
scramble fair, and match my brains and capital 
against the other fellow's. But when it comes to — 
well, when you've got the other fellow cinched, and the 



284 Cabbages and Kings 

screws on him, and he's got to put up — why, it don't 
strike me as being a man's game. They've got a name 
for it, you know; it's — confound you, don't you un- 
derstand. A fellow feels — it's something like that 
blamed art of yours — he — well, I tore that photo- 
graph up and laid the pieces on that stack of money 
and shoved the whole business back across the table. 
' Excuse me, Mr. Losada, ' I said, * but I guess I've 
made a mistake in the price. You get the photo for 
nothing.' Now, Carry, you get out the pencil, and 
we'll do some more figuring. I'd like to save enough 
out of our capital for you to have some fried sausages 
in your joint when you get back to New York. " 



CHAPTER FIFTEEN 

Dicky 



1 HERE is little consecutiveness along the Spanish 
Main. Things happen there intermittently. Even 
Time seems to hang his scythe daily on the branch of 
an orange tree while he takes a siesta and a cigarette. 

After the ineffectual revolt against the administra- 
tion of President Losada, the country settled again 
into quiet toleration of the abuses with which he had 
been charged. In Coralio old political enemies went 
arm-in-arm, lightly eschewing for the time all differ- 
ences of opinion. 

The failure of the art expedition did not stretch the 
cat-footed Keogh upon his back. The ups and downs 
of Fortune made smooth travelling for his nimble 
steps. His blue pencil stub was at work again be- 



286 Cabbages and Kings 

fore the smoke of the steamer on which White sailed 
had cleared away from the horizon. He had but to 
speak a word to Geddie to find his credit negotiable 
for whatever goods he wanted from the store of 
Brannigan & Company. On the same day on which 
White arrived in New York Keogh, at the rear of a 
train of five pack mules loaded with hardware and 
cutlery, set his face toward the grim, interior moun- 
tains. There the Indian tribes wash gold dust from 
the auriferous streams ; and when a market is brought 
to them trading is brisk and muy bueno in the Cor- 
dilleras. 

In Coralio Time folded his wings and paced weari- 
ly along his drowsy path. They who had most 
cheered the torpid hours were gone. Clancy had 
sailed on a Spanish barque for Colon, contemplating 
a cut across the isthmus and then a further voyage to 
end at Callao, where the fighting was said to be on. 
Geddie, whose quiet and genial nature had once 
served to mitigate the frequent dull reaction of lotus 
eating, was now a home-man, happy with his bright 
orchid, Paula, and never even dreaming of or regret- 
ting the unsolved, sealed and monogramed Bottle, 



Dicky 287 

whose contents, now inconsiderable, were held safely 
in the keeping of the sea. 

Well may the Walrus, most discerning and eclectic 
of beasts, place sealing-wax midway on his pro- 
gramme of topics that fall pertinent and diverting 
upon the ear. 

Atwood was gone — he of the hospitable back 
porch and ingenuous cunning. Dr. Gregg, with his 
trepanning story smouldering within him, was a 
whiskered volcano, always showing signs of immi- 
nent eruption, and was not to be considered in the 
ranks of those who might contribute to the ameliora- 
tion of ennui. The new consul's note chimed with 
the sad sea waves and the violent tropical greens — 
he had not a bar of Scheherezade or of the Round 
Table in his lute. Goodwin was employed with 
large projects : what time he was loosed from them 
found him at his home, where he loved to be. There- 
fore it will be seen that there was a dearth of fellow- 
ship and entertainment among the foreign contingent 
of Coralio. 

And then Dicky Maloney dropped down from the 
clouds upon the town, and amused it. 



288 Cabbages and Kings 

Nobody knew where Dicky Maloney hailed from 
or how he reached Coralio. He appeared there one 
day; and that was all. He afterward said that he 
came on the fruit steamer Thor; but an inspection 
of the Thor's passenger list of that date was found to 
be Maloneyless. Curiosity, however, soon perished; 
and Dicky took his place among the odd fish cast up 
by the Caribbean. 

He was an active, devil-may-care, rollicking fellow 
with an engaging gray eye, the most irresistible grin, 
a rather dark or much sunburned complexion, and a 
head of the fieriest red hair ever seen in that country. 
Speaking the Spanish language as well as he spoke 
English, and seeming always to have plenty of silver 
in his pockets, it was not long before he was a wel- 
come companion whithersoever he went. He had an 
extreme fondness for vino bianco, and gained the rep- 
utation of being able to drink more of it than any 
three men in town. Everybody called him " Dicky " ; 
everybody cheered up at the sight of him — especially 
the natives, to whom his marvellous red hair and his 
free-and-easy style were a constant delight and envy. 
Wherever you went in the town you would soon see 



Dicky 289 

Dicky or hear his genial laugh, and find around him a 
group of admirers who appreciated him both for his 
good nature and the white wine he was always so 
ready to buy. 

A considerable amount of speculation was had con- 
cerning the object of his sojourn there, until one day 
he silenced this by opening a small shop for the sale 
of tobacco, dulces and the handiwork of the interior 
Indians — fibre-and-silk-woven goods, deerskin za- 
patos and basketwork of tule reeds. Even then he 
did not change his habits; for he was drinking and 
playing cards half the day and night with the coman- 
dante, the collector of customs, the Jefe Politico and 
other gay dogs among the native officials. 

One day Dicky saw Pasa, the daughter of Mada- 
ma Ortiz, sitting in the side-door of the Hotel des los 
Estranjeros. He stopped in his tracks, still, for the 
first time in Coralio; and then he sped, swift as a deer, 
to find Vasquez, a gilded native youth, to present him. 

The young men had named Pasa "La Santita 
Naranjadita. " Naranjadita is a Spanish word for 
a certain colour that you must go to more trouble to 
describe in English. By saying "The little saint, 



290 Cabbages and Kings 

tinted the most beautiful-delicate-slightly-orange- 
golden, " you will approximate the description of 
Madama Ortiz's daughter. 

La Madama Ortiz sold rum in addition to other 
liquors. Now, you must know that the rum expiates 
whatever opprobrium attends upon the other com- 
modities. For rum-making, mind you, is a gov- 
ernment monopoly; and to keep a government 
dispensary assures respectability if not preeminence. 
Moreover, the saddest of precisians could find no 
fault with the conduct of the shop. Customers 
drank there in the lowest of spirits and fearsomely, 
as in the shadow of the dead; for Madama's ancient 
and vaunted lineage counteracted even the rum's 
behest to be merry. For, was she not of the Iglesias, 
who landed with Pizarro ? And had not her deceased 
husband been comisionado de caminos y puentes for 
the district ? 

In the evenings Pasa sat by the window in the room 
next to the one where they drank, and strummed 
dreamily upon her guitar. And then, by twos and 
threes, would come visiting young caballeros and oc- 
cupy the prim line of chairs set against the wall of this 



Dicky 291 

room. They were there to besiege the heart of " La 
Santita. " Their method (which is not proof against 
intelligent competition) consisted of expanding the 
chest, looking valorous, and consuming a gross or two 
of cigarettes. Even saints delicately oranged pre- 
fer to be wooed differently. 

Dona Pasa would tide over the vast chasms of nico- 
tinized silence with music from her guitar, while she 
wondered if the romances she had read about gallant 
and more — more contiguous cavaliers were all lies. 
At somewhat regular intervals Madama would glide 
in from the dispensary with a sort of drought-sug- 
gesting gleam in her eye, and there would be a 
rustling of stiffly-starched white trousers as one of 
the caballeros would propose an adjournment to 
the bar. 

That Dicky Maloney would, sooner or later, ex- 
plore this field was a thing to be foreseen. There 
were few doors in Coralio into which his red head had 
not been poked. 

In an incredibly short space of time after his first 
sight of her he was there, seated close beside her rock- 
ing chair. There were no back-against-the-wall 



292 Cabbages and Kings 

poses in Dicky's theory of wooing. His plan of sub- 
jection was an attack at close range. To carry the 
fortress with one concentrated, ardent, eloquent, ir- 
resistible escalade — that was Dicky's way. 

Pasa was descended from the proudest Spanish 
families in the country. Moreover, she had had 
unusual advantages. Two years in a New Orleans 
school had elevated her ambitions and fitted her for 
a fate above the ordinary maidens of her native 
land. And yet here she succumbed to the first red- 
haired scamp with a glib tongue and a charming 
smile that came along and courted her properly. 

Very soon Dicky took her to the little church on the 
corner of the plaza, and " Mrs. Maloney " was added 
to her string of distinguished names. 

And it was her fate to sit, with her patient, saintly 
eyes and figure like a bisque Psyche, behind the se- 
questered counter of the little shop, while Dicky drank 
and philandered with his frivolous acquaintances. 

The women, with their naturally fine instinct, saw 
a chance for vivisection, and delicately taunted her 
with his habits. She turned upon them in a beauti- 
ful, steady blaze of sorrowful contempt. 



Dicky 293 

" You meat-cows, " she said, in her level, crystal- 
clear tones; "you know nothing of a man. Your 
men are maromeros. They are fit only to roll ciga- 
rettes in the shade until the sun strikes and shrivels 
them up. They drone in your hammocks and you 
comb their hair and feed them with fresh fruit. My 
man is of no such blood. Let him drink of the wine. 
When he has taken sufficient of it to drown one of 
your flaccitos he will come home to me more of a man 
than one thousand of your pobrecitos. My hair he 
smoothes and braids ; to me he sings ; he himself re- 
moves my zapatos, and there, there, upon each instep 
leaves a kiss. He holds — Oh, you will never 
understand! Blind ones who have never known a 
man. " 

Sometimes mysterious things happened at night 
about Dicky's shop. While the front of it was dark, 
in the little room back of it Dicky and a few of his 
friends would sit about a table carrying on some kind 
of very quiet negocios until quite late. Finally he 
would let them out the front door very carefully, and 
go upstairs to his little saint. These visitors were 
generally conspirator-like men with dark clothes and 



294 Cabbages and Kings 

hats. Of course, these dark doings were noticed 

after a while, and talked about. 

Dicky seemed to care nothing at all for the society 
of the alien residents of the town. He avoided Good- 
win, and his skilful escape from the trepanning story 
of Dr. Gregg is still referred to, in Coralio, as a mas- 
terpiece of lightning diplomacy. 

Many letters arrived, addressed to "Mr. Dicky 
Maloney, " or " Sefior Dickee Maloney, " to the con- 
siderable pride of Pasa. That so many people should 
desire to write to him only confirmed her own suspi- 
cion that the light from his red head shone around the 
world. As to their contents she never felt curiosity. 
There was a wife for you ! 

The one mistake Dicky made in Coralio was to run 
out of money at the wrong time. Where his money 
came from was a puzzle, for the sales of his shop were 
next to nothing, but that source failed, and at a pe- 
culiarly unfortunate time. It was when the coman- 
dante, Don Sefior el Coronel Encarnacion Rios, 
looked upon the little saint seated in the shop and 
felt his heart go pitapat. 

The comandante, who was versed in all the intri- 



Dicky 295 

cate arts of gallantry, first delicately hinted at his sen- 
timents by donning his dress uniform and strutting 
up and down fiercely before her window. Pasa, 
glancing demurely with her saintly eyes, instantly per- 
ceived his resemblance to her parrot, Chichi, and was 
diverted to the extent of a smile. The comandante 
saw the smile, which was not intended for him. Con- 
vinced of an impression made, he entered the shop, 
confidently, and advanced to open compliment. Pasa 
froze; he pranced; she flamed royally; he was charmed 
to injudicious persistence; she commanded him to 
leave the shop; he tried to capture her hand, and — 
Dicky entered, smiling broadly, full of white wine and 
the devil. 

He spent five minutes in punishing the comandante 
scientifically and carefully, so that the pain might be 
prolonged as far as possible. At the end of that time 
he pitched the rash wooer out the door upon the 
stones of the street, senseless. 

A barefooted policeman who had been watching 
the affair from across the street blew a whistle. A 
squad of four soldiers came running from the cuartel 
around the corner When they saw that the offender 



296 Cabbages and Kings 

was Dicky, they stopped, and blew more whistles, 
which brought out reinforcements of eight. Deem- 
ing the odds against them sufficiently reduced, the 
military advanced upon the disturber. 

Dicky, being thoroughly imbued with the martial 
spirit, stooped and drew the comandante's sword, 
which was girded about him, and charged his foe. 
He chased the standing army four squares, playfully 
prodding its squealing rear and hacking at its 
ginger-coloured heels. 

But he was not so successful with the civic authori- 
ties. Six muscular, nimble policemen overpowered 
him and conveyed him, triumphantly but warily, to 
jail. "El Diablo Colorado' 9 they dubbed him, and 
derided the military for its defeat. 

Dicky, with the rest of the prisoners, could look out 
through the barred door at the grass of the little plaza, 
at a row of orange trees and the red tile roofs and 
'dobe walls of a line of insignificant stores. 

At sunset along a path across this plaza came a 
melancholy procession of sad-faced women bearing 
plantains, cassaba, bread and fruit — each coming 
with food to some wretch behind those bars to whom 



Dicky 297 

she still clung and furnished the means of life. Twice 
a day — morning and evening — they were permitted 
to come. Water was furnished to her compulsory 
guests by the republic, but no food. 

That evening Dicky's name was called by the sen- 
try, and he stepped before the bars of the door. There 
stood his little saint, a black mantilla draped about 
her head and shoulders, her face like glorified melan- 
choly, her clear eyes gazing longingly at him as if they 
might draw him between the bars to her. She 
brought a chicken, some oranges, dulces and a loaf of 
white bread. A soldier inspected the food, and passed 
it in to Dicky. Pasa spoke calmly, as she always 
did, and briefly, in her thrilling, flute-like tones. " An- 
gel of my life, " she said, " let it not be long that thou 
art away from me. Thou knowest that life is not a 
thing to be endured with thou not at my side. Tell 
me if I can do aught in this matter. If not, I will 
wait — a little while. I come again in the morning. " 

Dicky, with his shoes removed so as not to disturb 
his fellow prisoners, tramped the floor of the jail half 
the night condemning his lack of money and the 
cause of it — whatever that might have been. He 



298 Cabbages and Kings 

knew very well that money would have bought his re- 
lease at once. 

For two days succeeding Pasa came at the appoint- 
ed times and brought him food. He eagerly inquired 
each time if a letter or package had come for him, and 
she mournfully shook her head. 

On the morning of the third day she brought only a 
small loaf of bread. There were dark circles under 
her eyes. She seemed as calm as ever. 

"By jingo," said. Dicky, who seemed to speak in 
English or Spanish as the whim seized him, "this is 
dry provender, muchachita. Is this the best you can 
dig up for a fellow ? " 

Pasa looked at him as a mother looks at a beloved 
but capricious babe. 

"Think better of it," she said, in a low voice; 
" since for the next meal there will be nothing. The 
last centavo is spent. " She pressed closer against the 
grating. 

" Sell the goods in the shop — take anything for 
them. " 

" Have I not tried ? Did I not offer them for one- 
tenth their cost ? Not even one peso would any one 



Dicky 299 

give. There is not one real in this town to assist 
Dickee Malonee. " 

Dick clenched his teeth grimly. " That's the co- 
mandante y " he growled. " He's responsible for that 
sentiment. Wait, oh, wait till the cards are all out. " 

Pasa lowered her voice to almost a whisper. " And, 
listen, heart of my heart, " she said, " I have endeav- 
oured to be brave, but I cannot live without thee. 
Three days now — " 

Dicky caught a faint gleam of steel from the folds 
of her mantilla. For once she looked in his face and 
saw it without a smile, stern, menacing and purpose- 
ful. Then he suddenly raised his hand and his smile 
came back like a gleam of sunshine. The hoarse sig- 
nal of an incoming steamer's siren sounded in the har- 
bour. Dicky called to the sentry who was pacing be- 
fore the door : " What steamer comes ? " 

"The Catarina." 

"Of the Vesuvius line?" 

"Without doubt, of that line. " 

" Go you, 'picarilla" said Dicky joyously to Pasa, 
" to the American consul. Tell him I wish to speak 
with him. See that he comes at once, And look you ! let 



300 Cabbages and Kings 

me see a different look in those eyes, for I promise 

your head shall rest upon this arm to-night. " 

It was an hour before the consul came. He held 
his green umbrella under his arm, and mopped his 
forehead impatiently. 

" Now, see here, Maloney, " he began, captiously, 
"you fellows seem to think you can cut up any kind 
of row, and expect me to pull you out of it. I'm 
neither the War Department nor a gold mine. This 
country has its laws, you know, and there's one against 
pounding the senses out of the regular army. You 
Irish are forever getting into trouble. I don't see 
what I can do. Anything like tobacco, now, to make 
you comfortable — or newspapers — " 

"Son of Eli," interrupted Dicky, gravely, "you 
haven't changed an iota. That is almost a duplicate 
of the speech you made when old Koen's donkeys and 
geese got into the chapel loft, and the culprits wanted 
to hide in your room. " 

"Oh, heavens!" exclaimed the consul, hurriedly 
adjusting his spectacles. " Are you a Yale man, too ? 
Were you in that crowd ? I don't seem to remember 
any one with red — any one named Maloney. Such a 



Dicky 301 

lot of college men seem to have misused their advan- 
tages. One of the best mathematicians of the class of 
'91 is selling lottery tickets in Belize. A Cornell man 
dropped off here last month. He was second steward 
on a guano boat. I'll write to the department if you 
like, Maloney, Or if there's any tobacco, or news- 
pa— " 

"There's nothing," interrupted Dicky, shortly, 
"but this. You go tell the captain of the Catarina 
that Dicky Maloney wants to see him as soon as 
he can conveniently come. Tell him where I am. 
Hurry. That's all. " 

The consul, glad to be let off so easily, hurried 
away. The captain of the Catarina, a stout man, 
Sicilian born, soon appeared, shoving, with little cere- 
mony, through the guards to the jail door. The 
Vesuvius Fruit Company had a habit of doing things 
that way in Anchuria. 

"I am exceeding sorry — exceeding sorry," said 
the captain, "to see this occur. I place myself at 
your service, Mr. Maloney. Whatever you need shall 
be furnished. Whatever you say shall be done. " 

Dicky looked at him unsmilingly. His red hair 



302 Cabbages and Kings 

could not detract from his attitude of severe dignity 
as he stood, tall and calm, with his now grim mouth 
forming a horizontal line. 

" Captain De Lucco, I believe I still have funds in 
the hands of your company — ample and personal 
funds. I ordered a remittance last week. The 
money has not arrived. You know what is needed in 
this game. Money and money and more money. 
Why has it not been sent ? " 

" By the Cristobal, " replied De Lucco, gesticulat- 
ing, "it was despatched. Where is the Cristobal? 
Off Cape Antonio I spoke her with a broken shaft. 
A tramp coaster was towing her back to New Orleans. 
I brought money ashore thinking your need for it 
might not withstand delay. In this envelope is one 
thousand dollars. There is more if you need it, Mr. 
Maloney. " 

" For the present it will suffice, " said Dicky, soft- 
ening as he crinkled the envelope and looked down at 
the half -inch thickness of smooth, dingy bills. 

" The long green ! " he said, gently, with a new rev- 
erence in his gaze. " Is there anything it will not buy, 
Captain ? " 



Dicky 303 

* I had three friends, " replied De Lucco, who was 
a bit of a philosopher, "who had money. One of 
them speculated in stocks and made ten million ; an- 
other is in heaven, and the third married a poor girl 
whom he loved. " 

" The answer, then, " said Dicky, " is held by the 
Almighty, Wall Street and Cupid. So, the question 
remains. " 

"This," queried the captain, including Dicky's 
surroundings in a significant gesture of his hand, " is it 
— it is not — it is not connected with the business of 
your little shop ? There is no failure in your plans ? " 

" No, no, " said Dicky. '* This is merely the result 
of a little private affair of mine, a digression from the 
regular line of business. They say for a complete life 
a man must know poverty, love and war. But they 
don't go well together, caption mio. No; there is no 
failure in my business. The little shop is doing 
very well. " 

When the captain had departed Dicky called the 
sergeant of the jail squad and asked: 

" Am I preso by the military or by the civil author- 
ity?" 



304 Cabbages and Kings 

"Surely there is no martial law in effect now, 
sefior, " 

" Bueno. Now go or send to the alcalde, the Juez 
de la Paz and the Jefe de los Policios, Tell them I 
am prepared at once to satisfy the demands of justice. 
A folded bill of the "long green" slid into the ser- 
geant's hand. 

Then Dicky's smile came back again, for he knew 
that the hours of his captivity were numbered; and he 
hummed, in time with the sentry's tread : 

" They're hanging men and women now. 
For lacking of the green." 

So, that night Dicky sat by the window of the room 
over his shop and his little saint sat close by, working 
at something silken and dainty. Dicky was thought- 
ful and grave. His red hair was in an unusual state 
of disorder. Pasa's fingers often ached to smooth 
and arrange it, but Dicky would never allow it. He 
was poring, to-night, over a great litter of maps 
and books and papers on his table until that per- 
pendicular line came between his brows that always 
distressed Pasa. Presently she went and brought 



Dicky 305 

his hat, and stood with it until he looked up, in- 
quiringly. 

" It is sad for you here, " she explained. " Go out 
and drink vino bianco. Come back when you get 
that smile you used to wear. That is what I wish to 
see." 

Dicky laughed and threw down his papers. " The 
vino bianco stage is past. It has served its turn. 
Perhaps, after all, there was less entered my mouth 
and more my ears than people thought. But, there 
will be no more maps or frowns to-night. I promise 
you that. Come. * 

They sat upon a reed silleta at the window and 
watched the quivering gleams from the lights of the 
Catarina reflected in the harbour. 

Presently Pasa rippled out one of her infrequent 
chirrups of audible laughter. 

" I was thinking, " she began, anticipating Dicky's 
question, "of the foolish things girls have in their 
minds. Because I went to school in the States I used 
to have ambitions. Nothing less than to be the pres- 
ident's wife would satisfy me. And, look, thou red 
picaroon, to what obscure fate thou hast stolen me ! " 



306 Cabbages and Kings 

" Don't give up hope," said Dicky, smiling. More 
than one Irishman has been the ruler of a South 
American country. There was a dictator of Chili 
named O'Higgins. Why not a President Maloney, 
of Anchuria ? Say the word, santita mia, and we'll 
make the race." 

"No, no, no, thou red-haired, reckless one!" 
sighed Pasa; "I am content" — she laid her head 
against his arm — "here." 



CHAPTER SIXTEEN 

Rouge et Noir 



IT has been indicated that disaffection followed 
the elevation of Losada to the presidency. This 
feeling continued to grow. Throughout the en- 
tire republic there seemed to be a spirit of silent, 
sullen discontent. Even the old Liberal party to 
which Goodwin, Zavalla and other patriots had lent 
their aid was disappointed. Losada had failed to 
become a popular idol. Fresh taxes, fresh import 
duties and, more than all, his tolerance of the out- 
rageous oppression of citizens by the military had 
rendered him the most obnoxious president since the 
despicable Alforan. The majority of his own cabi- 
net were out of sympathy with him. The army, 
which he had courted by giving it license to 



308 Cabbages and Kings 

tyrannize, had been his main, and thus far adequate 

support. 

But the most impolitic of the administration's 
moves had been when it antagonized the Vesuvius 
Fruit Company, an organization plying twelve steam- 
ers and with a cash capital somewhat larger than 
Anchuria's surplus and debt combined. 

Reasonably, an established concern like the Vesu- 
vius would become irritated at having a small, retail 
republic with no rating at all attempt to squeeze it. 
So, when the government proxies applied for a sub- 
sidy they encountered a polite refusal. The presi- 
dent at once retaliated by clapping an export duty 
of one real per bunch on bananas — a thing unprece- 
dented in fruit-growing countries. The Vesuvius 
Company had invested large sums in wharves and 
plantations along the Anchurian coast, their agents 
had erected fine homes in the towns where they had 
their headquarters, and heretofore had worked with 
the republic in good-will and with advantage to both. 
It would lose an immense sum if compelled to move 
out. The selling price of bananas from Vera Cruz 
to Trinidad was three reals per bunch. This new 



Rouge et Noir 309 

duty of one real would have ruined the fruit growers 
in Anchuria and have seriously discommoded the 
Vesuvius Company had it declined to pay it. But 
for some reason, the Vesuvius continued to buy An- 
churian fruit, paying four reals for it ; and not suffer- 
ing the growers to bear the loss. 

This apparent victory deceived His Excellency; 
and he began to hunger for more of it. He sent an 
emissary to request a conference with a representa- 
tive of the fruit company. The Vesuvius sent Mr. 
Franzoni, a little, stout, cheerful man, always cool, 
and whistling airs from Verdi's operas. Seiior Espi- 
rition, of the office of the Minister of Finance, at- 
tempted the sandbagging in behalf of Anchuria. 
The meeting took place in the cabin of the Salvador, 
of the Vesuvius line. 

Senor Espirition opened negotiations by announc- 
ing that the government contemplated the building 
of a railroad to skirt the alluvial coast lands. After 
touching upon the benefits such a road would 
confer upon the interests of the Vesuvius, he 
reached the definite suggestion that a contribution 
to the road's expenses of, say, fifty thousand pesos 



310 Cabbages and Kings 

would not be more than an equivalent to benefits 

received. 

Mr. Franzoni denied that his company would re- 
ceive any benefits from a contemplated road. As 
its representative he must decline to contribute fifty 
thousand pesos. But he would assume the respon- 
sibility of offering twenty-five. 

Did Sefior Espirition understand Sefior Franzoni 
to mean twenty-five thousand pesos ? 

By no means. Twenty-five pesos. And in silver; 
not in gold. 

" Your offer insults my government," cried Sefior 
Espirition, rising, with indignation. 

"Then," said Mr. Franzoni, in a warning tone, 
"we will change it." 

The offer was never changed. Could Mr. Fran- 
zoni have meant the government ? 

This was the state of affairs in Anchuria when 
the winter season opened at Coralio at the end of the 
second year of Losada's administration. So, when 
the government and society made its annual exodus 
to the seashore it was evident that the presidential 
advent would not be celebrated by unlimited rejoic- 



Rouge et Noir 311 

ing. The tenth of November was the day set for the 
entrance into Coralio of the gay company from the 
capital. A narrow-guage railroad runs twenty miles 
into the interior from Solitas. The government 
party travels by carriage from San Mateo to this 
road's terminal point, and proceeds by train to Soli- 
tas. From here they march in grand procession to 
Coralio where, on the day of their coming, festivities 
and ceremonies abound. But this season saw an 
ominous dawning of the tenth of November. 

Although the rainy season was over, the day seemed 
to hark back to reeking June. A fine drizzle of rain 
fell all during the forenoon. The procession entered 
Coralio amid a strange silence. 

President Losada was an elderly man, grizzly 
bearded, with a considerable ratio of Indian blood 
revealed in his cinnamon complexion. His carriage 
headed the procession, surrounded and guarded by 
Captain Cruz and his famous troop of one hundred 
light horse "El Ciento Huilando." Colonel Rocas 
followed, with a regiment of the regular army. 

The president's sharp, beady eyes glanced about 
him for the expected demonstration of welcome ; but 



312 Cabbages and Kings 

he faced a stolid, indifferent array of citizens. Sight- 
seers the Anchurians are by birth and habit, and they 
turned out to their last able-bodied unit to witness 
the scene; but they maintained an accusive silence. 
They crowded the streets to the very wheel ruts ; they 
covered the red tile roofs to the eaves, but there was 
never a "viva" from them. No wreathes of palm 
and lemon branches or gorgeous strings of paper 
roses hung from the windows and balconies as was 
the custom. There was an apathy, a dull, dissent- 
ing disapprobation, that was the more ominous be- 
cause it puzzled. No one feared an outburst, a 
revolt of the discontents, for they had no leader. 
The president and those loyal to him had never 
even heard whispered a name among them cap- 
able of crystallizing the dissatisfaction into op- 
position. No, there could be no danger. The 
people always procured a new idol before they 
destroyed an old one. 

At length, after a prodigious galloping and cur- 
vetting of red-sashed majors, gold-laced colonels and 
epauletted generals, the procession formed for its 
annual progress down the Calle Grande to the Casa 



Rouge et Noir 313 

Morena, where the ceremony of welcome to the 
visiting president always took place. 

The Swiss band led the line of march. After it 
pranced the local comandante, mounted, and a de- 
tachment of his troops. Next came a carriage with 
four members of the cabinet, conspicuous among 
them the Minister of War, old General Pilar, with his 
white moustache and his soldierly bearing. Then 
the president's vehicle, containing also the Ministers 
of Finance and State; and surrounded by Captain 
Cruz's light horse formed in a close double file of 
fours. Following them, the rest of the officials of 
state, the judges and distinguished military and 
social ornaments of public and private life. 

As the band struck up, and the movement began, 
like a bird of ill-omen the Valhalla, the swiftest steam- 
ship of the Vesuvius line, glided into the harbour 
in plain view of the president and his train. Of 
course, there was nothing menacing about its arrival 
— a business firm does not go to war with a nation — 
but it reminded Senor Espirition and others in those 
carriages that the Vesuvius Fruit Company was un- 
doubtedly carrying something up its sleeve for them. 



314 Cabbages and Kings 

By the time the van of the procession had reached 
the government building, Captain Cronin, of the 
Valhalla, and Mr. Vincenti, member of the Vesuvius 
Company, had landed and were pushing their way, 
bluff, hearty and nonchalant, through the crowd 
on the narrow sidewalk. Clad in white linen, big, 
debonair, with an air of good-humoured authority, 
they made conspicuous figures among the dark mass 
of unimposing Anchurians, as they penetrated to 
within a few yards of the steps of the Casa Morena. 
Looking easily above the heads of the crowd, they 
perceived another that towered above the under- 
sized natives. It was the fiery poll of Dicky Maloney 
against the wall close by the lower step; and his 
broad, seductive grin showed that he recognized 
their presence. 

Dicky had attired himself becomingly for the fes- 
tive occasion in a well-fitting black suit. Pasa was 
close by his side, her head covered with the ubiquit- 
ous black mantilla. 

Mr. Vincenti looked at her attentively. 

" Botticelli's Madonna," he remarked, gravely. " I 
wonder when she got into the game. I don't like 



Rouge et Noir 315 

his getting tangled with the women. I hoped he 
would keep away from them." 

Captain Cronin's laugh almost drew attention 
from the parade. 

"With that head of hair! Keep away from the 
women ! And a Maloney ! Hasn't he got a licence ? 
But, nonsense aside, what do you think of the pros- 
pects ? It's a species of filibustering out of my line." 

Vincenti glanced again at Dicky's head and smiled. 

"Rouge et noir" he said. "There you have it. 
Make your play, gentlemen. Our money is on the 
red." 

"The lad's game," said Cronin, with a commend- 
ing look at the tall, easy figure by the steps. " But 
'tis all like fly-by-night theatricals to me. The talk's 
bigger than the stage; there's a smell of gasoline in 
the air, and they're their own audience and scene- 
shifters." 

They ceased talking, for General Pilar had de- 
scended from the first carriage and had taken his 
stand upon the top step of Casa Morena. As the 
oldest member of the cabinet, custom had decreed 
that he should make the address of welcome, present- 



316 Cabbages and Kings 

ing the keys of the official residence to the president 

at its close. 

General Pilar was one of the most distinguished 
citizens of the republic. Hero of three wars and in- 
numerable revolutions, he was an honoured guest 
at European courts and camps. An eloquent speaker 
and a friend to the people, he represented the highest 
type of the Anchurians. 

Holding in his hand the gilt keys of Casa Morena, 
he began his address in a historical form, touching 
upon each administration and the advance of civili- 
zation and prosperity from the first dim striving after 
liberty down to present times. Arriving at the 
regime of President Losada, at which point, accord- 
ing to precedent, he should have delivered a eulogy 
upon its wise conduct and the happiness of the peo- 
ple, General Pilar paused. Then he silently held 
up the bunch of keys high above his head, with his 
eyes closely regarding it. The ribbon with which 
they were bound fluttered in the breeze. 

"It still blows," cried the speaker, exultantly. 
" Citizens of Anchuria, give thanks to the saints this 
night that our air is still free." 



Rouge et Noir 317 

Thus disposing of Losada's administration, he 
abruptly reverted to that of Olivarra, Anchuria's 
most popular ruler. Olivarra had been assassinated 
nine years before while in the prime of life and useful- 
ness. A faction of the Liberal party led by Losada 
himself had been accused of the deed. Whether 
guilty or not, it was eight years before the ambitious 
and scheming Losada had gained his goal. 

Upon this theme General Pilar's eloquence was 
loosed. He drew the picture of the beneficent Oli- 
varra with a loving hand. He reminded the people 
of the peace, the security and the happiness they 
had enjoyed during that period. He recalled in 
vivid detail and with significant contrast the last 
winter sojourn of President Olivarra in Coralio, 
when his appearance at their fiestas was the signal for 
thundering vivas of love and approbation. 

The first public expression of sentiment from the 
people that day followed. A low, sustained murmur 
went among them like the surf rolling along the 
shore. 

"Ten dollars to a dinner at the Saint Charles," 
remarked Mr. Vincenti, " that rouge wins." 



318 Cabbages and Kings 

"I never bet against my own interests," said 
Captain Cronin, lighting a cigar. "Long-winded 
old boy, for his age. What's he talking about ?" 

" My Spanish," replied Vincenti, " runs about ten 
words to the minute; his is something around two 
hundred. Whatever he's saying, he's getting them 
warmed up." 

" Friends and brothers," General Pilar was saying, 
"could I reach out my hand this day across the 
lamentable silence of the grave to Olivarra 'the 
Good,' to the ruler who was one of you, whose tears 
fell when you sorrowed, and whose smile followed 
your joy — I would bring him back to you, but — 
Olivarra is dead — dead at the hands of a craven 



assassin 



The speaker turned and gazed boldly into the car- 
riage of the president. His arm remained extended 
aloft as if to sustain his peroration. The president 
was listening, aghast, at this remarkable address of 
welcome. He was sunk back upon his seat, trem- 
bling with rage and dumb surprise, his dark hands 
tightly gripping the carriage cushions. 

Half rising, he extended one arm toward the 



Rouge et Noir 319 

speaker, and shouted a harsh command at Captain 
Cruz. The leader of the " Flying Hundred " sat his 
horse, immovable, with folded arms, giving no sign 
of having heard. Losada sank back again, his dark 
features distinctly paling. 

" Who says that Olivarra is dead ? " suddenly cried 
the speaker, his voice, old as he was, sounding like 
a battle trumpet. " His body lies in the grave, but 
to the people he loved he has bequeathed his spirit 

— yes, more — his learning, his courage, his kindness 

— yes, more — his youth, his image — people of 
Anchuria, have you forgotten Ramon, the son of 
Olivarra ? " 

Cronin and Vincenti, watching closely, saw Dicky 
Maloney suddenly raise his hat, tear off his shock of 
red hair, leap up the steps and stand at the side of 
General Pilar. The Minister of War laid his arm 
across the young man's shoulders. All who had 
known President Olivarra saw again his same lion- 
like pose, the same frank, undaunted expression, the 
same high forehead with the peculiar line of the 
clustering, crisp black hair. 

General Pilar was an experienced orator. He 



320 Cabbages and Kings 

seized the moment of breathless silence that pre- 
ceded the storm. 

"Citizens of Anchuria," he trumpeted, holding 
aloft the keys to Casa Morena, " I am here to deliver 
these keys — the keys to your homes and liberty — 
to your chosen president. Shall I deliver them to 
Enrico Olivarra's assassin, or to his son ? " 

"Olivarra! Olivarra!" the crowd shrieked and 
howled. All vociferated the magic name — men, 
women, children and the parrots. 

And the enthusiasm was not confined to the blood 
of the plebs. Colonel Rocas ascended the steps and 
laid his sword theatrically at young Ramon Olivarra's 
feet. Four members of the cabinet embraced him. 
Captain Cruz gave a command, and twenty of El 
Ciento Huilando dismounted and arranged them- 
selves in a cordon about the steps of Casa Morena. 

But Ramon Olivarra seized that moment to prove 
himself a born genius and politician. He waved 
those soldiers aside, and descended the steps to the 
street. There, without losing his dignity or the dis- 
tinguished elegance that the loss of his red hair 
brought him, he took the proletariat to his bosom — 



Rouge et Noir 321 

the barefooted, the dirty, Indians, Caribs, babies, 
beggars, old, young, saints, soldiers and sinners — 
he missed none of them. 

While this act of the drama was being presented, 
the scene shifters had been busy at the duties that 
had been assigned to them. Two of Cruz's dragoons 
had seized the bridle reins of Losada's horses ; others 
formed a close guard around the carriage; and they 
galloped off with the tyrant and his two unpopular 
Ministers. No doubt a place had been prepared for 
them. There are a number of well -barred stone 
apartments in Coralio. 

"Rouge wins," said Mr. Vincenti, calmly light- 
ing another cigar. 

Captain Cronin had been intently watching the 
vicinity of the stone steps for some time. 

" Good boy ! " he exclaimed suddenly, as if relieved. 
"I wondered if he was going to forget his Kathleen 
Mavourneen." 

Young Olivarra had reascended the steps and 
spoken a few words to General Pilar. Then that 
distinguished veteran descended to the ground and 
approached Pasa, who still stood, wonder-eyed, 



322 Cabbages and Kings 

where Dicky had left her. With his plumed hat in 
his hand, and his medals and decorations shining on 
his breast, the general spoke to her and gave her his 
arm, and they went up the stone steps of the Casa 
Morena together. And then Ramon Olivarra stepped 
forward and took both her hands before all the 
people. 

And while the cheering was breaking out afresh 
everywhere, Captain Cronin and Mr. Vincenti turned 
and walked back toward the shore where the gig was 
waiting for them. 

"There'll be another 'presidente proclamada' in 
the morning, " said Mr. Vincenti, musingly. " As a 
rule they are not as reliable as the elected ones, but 
this youngster seems to have some good stuff in him. 
He planned and manoeuvred the entire campaign. 
Olivarra' s widow, you know, was wealthy. After her 
husband was assassinated she went to the States, and 
educated her son at Yale. The Vesuvius Company 
hunted him up, and backed him in the little game. " 

" It's a glorious thing, " said Cronin, half jestingly, 
" to be able to discharge a government, and insert one 
of your own choosing, in these days. " 



Rouge et Noir 323 

" Oh, it is only a matter of business, " said Vincenti, 
stopping and offering the stump of his cigar to a mon- 
key that swung down from a lime tree ; " and that is 
what moves the world of to-day. That extra real 
on the price of bananas had to go. We took the short* 
est way of removing it. " 



CHAPTER SEVENTEEN 

Two Recalls 



1 HERE remains three duties to be performed be- 
fore the curtain falls upon the patched comedy. Two 
have been promised : the third is no less obligatory. 

It was set forth in the programme of this tropic 
vaudeville that it would be made known why Shorty 
O'Day, of the Columbia Detective Agency, lost his 
position. Also that Smith should come again to tell 
us what mystery he followed that night on the shores 
of Anchuria when he strewed so many cigar stumps 
around the cocoanut palm during his lonely night 
vigil on the beach. These things were promised ; but 
a bigger thing yet remains to be accomplished — the 
clearing up of a seeming wrong that has been done 
according to the array of chronicled facts (truthfully 



Two Recalls 325 

set forth) that have been presented. And one voice, 
speaking, shall do these three things. 

Two men sat on a stringer of a North River pier in 
the City of New York. A steamer from the tropics 
had begun to unload bananas and oranges on the pier. 
Now and then a banana or two would fall from an 
overripe bunch, and one of the two men would sham- 
ble forward, seize the fruit and return to share it with 
his companion. 

One of the men was in the ultimate stage of deteri- 
oration. As far as rain and wind and sun could 
wreck the garments he wore, it had been done. In 
his person the ravages of drink were as plainly visible. 
And yet, upon his high-bridged, rubicund nose was 
jauntily perched a pair of shining and flawless gold- 
rimmed glasses. 

The other man was not so far gone upon the de- 
scending Highway of the Incompetents. Truly, the 
flower of his manhood had gone to seed — seed that, 
perhaps, no soil might sprout. But there were still 
cross-cuts along where he travelled through which he 
might yet regain the pathway of usefulness without 
disturbing the slumbering Miracles. This man was 



326 Cabbages and Kings 

short and compactly built. He had an oblique, dead 
eye, like that of a sting-ray, and the moustache of a 
cocktail mixer. We know the eye and the moustache; 
" we know that Smith of the luxurious yacht, the gor- 
geous raiment, the mysterious mission, the magic dis- 
appearance, has come again, though shorn of the ac- 
cessories of his former state. 

At his third banana, the man with the nose glasses 
spat it from him with a shudder. 

" Deuce take all fruit ! " he remarked, in a patrician 
tone of disgust. " I lived for two years where these 
things grow. The memory of their taste lingers with 
you. The oranges are not so bad. Just see if you 
can gather a couple of them, O'Day, when the next 
broken crate comes up. " 

"Did you live down with the monkeys?" asked 
the other, made tepidly garrulous by the sunshine and 
the alleviating meal of juicy fruit. "I was down 
there, once myself. But only for a few hours. That 
was when I was with the Columbia Detective Agency. 
The monkey people did me up. I'd have my 
job yet if it hadn't been for them. I'll tell you 
about it. 



Two Recalls 327 

" One day the chief sent a note around to the office 
that read: 'Send O'Day here at once for a big piece 
of business.' I was the crack detective of the agency 
at that time. They always handed me the big jobs. 
The address the chief wrote from was down in the 
Wall Street district. 

" When I got there I found him in a private office 
with a lot of directors who were looking pretty fuzzy. 
They stated the case. The president of the Republic 
Insurance Company had skipped with about a tenth 
of a million dollars in cash. The directors wanted 
him back pretty bad, but they wanted the money 
worse. They said they needed it. They had traced 
the old gent's movements to where he boarded a 
tramp fruit steamer bound for South America that 
same morning with his daughter and a big gripsack 
— all the family he had. 

" One of the directors had his steam yacht coaled 
and with steam up, ready for a trip ; and he turned her 
over to me, cart blongsh. In four hours I was on board 
of her, and hot on the trail of the fruit tub. I had 
a pretty good idea where old Wahrfield — that was 
his name, J. Churchill Wahrfield — would head for. 



328 Cabbages and Kings 

At that time we had a treaty with about every foreign 
country except Belgium and that banana republic, 
Anchuria. There wasn't a photo of old Wahrfield 
to be had in New York — he had been foxy there — 
but I had his description. And besides, the lady with 
him would be a dead-give-away anywhere. She was 
one of the high-flyers in Society — not the kind that 
have their pictures in the Sunday papers — but the 
real sort that open chrysanthemum shows and chris- 
ten battleships. 

" Well, sir, we never got a sight of that fruit tub 
on the road. The ocean is a pretty big place; and 
I guess we took different paths across it. But we 
kept going toward this Anchuria, where the fruiter 
was bound for. 

" We struck the monkey coast one afternoon about 
four. There was a ratty-looking steamer off shore 
taking on bananas. The monkeys were loading her 
up with big barges. It might be the one the old man 
had taken, and it might not. I went ashore to look 
around. The scenery was pretty good. I never saw 
any finer on the New York stage. I struck an Ameri- 
can on shore, a big, cool chap, standing around with 



Two Recalls 329 

the monkeys. He showed me the consul's office. The 
consul was a nice young fellow. He said the fruiter 
was the Karlsefin, running generally to New Orleans, 
but took her last cargo to New York. Then I was 
sure my people were on board, although everybody 
told me that no passengers had landed. I didn't 
think they would land until after dark, for they might 
have been shy about it on account of seeing that 
yacht of mine hanging around. So, all I had to do 
was to wait and nab 'em when they came ashore. I 
couldn't arrest old Wahrfield without extradition pa- 
pers, but my play was to get the cash. They gener- 
ally give up if you strike 'em when they're tired and 
rattled and short on nerve. 

"After dark I sat under a cocoanut tree on the 
beach for a while, and then I walked around and in- 
vestigated that town some, and it was enough to give 
you the lions. If a man could stay in New York and 
be honest, he'd better do it than to hit that monkey 
town with a million. 

"Dinky little mud houses; grass over your shoe 
tops in the streets; ladies in low-neck-and-short- 
sleeves walking around smoking cigars; tree frogs 



330 Cabbages and Kings 

rattling like a hose cart going to a ten blow; big 
mountains dropping gravel in the back yards, and the 
sea licking the paint off in front — no, sir — a man 
had better be in God's country living on free lunch 
than there. 

" The main street ran along the beach, and I walked 
down it, and then turned up a kind of lane where the 
houses were made of poles and straw. I wanted to 
see what the monkeys did when they weren't climbing 
cocoanut trees. The very first shack I looked in I 
saw my people. They must have come ashore while 
I was promenading. A man about fifty, smooth face, 
heavy eyebrows, dressed in black broadcloth, looking 
like he was just about to say, * Can any little boy in 
the Sunday school answer that?' He was freezing 
on to a grip that weighed like a dozen gold bricks, 
and a swell girl — a regular peach, with a Fifth Ave- 
nue cut — was sitting on a wooden chair. An old black 
woman was fixing some coffee and beans on a table. 
The light they had come from a lantern hung on a 
nail. I went and stood in the door, and they looked 
at me, and I said : 

"'Mr. Wahrfield, you are my prisoner. I hope, 



Two Recalls 331 

for the lady's sake, you will take the matter sensibly. 
You know why I want you. ' 

" ' Who are you ? ' says the old gent. 

"'O'Day, ' says I, 'of the Columbia Detective 
Agency. And now, sir, let me give you a piece of 
good advice. You go back and take your medicine 
like a man. Hand 'em back the boodle; and maybe 
they'll let you off light. Go back easy, and I'll put in 
a word for you. I'll give you five minutes to decide.' 
I pulled out my watch and waited. 

" Then the young lady chipped in. She was one of 
the genuine high-steppers. You could tell by the way 
her clothes fit and the style she had that Fifth Avenue 
was made for her. 

"'Come inside,' she says. 'Don't stand in the 
door and disturb the whole street with that suit of 
clothes. Now, what is it you want ? ' 

" ' Three minutes gone, ' I said. * I'll tell you again 
while the other two tick off. 

" ' You'll admit being the president of the Repub- 
lic, won't you ? ' 

"'lam,' says he. 

"'Well, then,' says I, 'it ought to be plain to you. 



332 Cabbages and Kings 

Wanted, in New York, J. Churchill Wahrfield, presi- 
dent of the Republic Insurance Company. 

"'Also the funds belonging to said company, now 
in that grip, in the unlawful possession of said J. 
Churchill Wahrfield.' 

" ' Oh-h-h-h ! ' says the young lady, as if she was- 
thinking, * you want to take us back to New York ? ' 

"'To take Mr. Wahrfield. There's no charge 
against you, miss. There'll be no objection, of 
course, to your returning with your father. ' 

"Of a sudden the girl gave a tiny scream and 
grabbed the old boy around the neck. ' Oh, father, 
father!' she says, kind of contralto, 'can this be 
true? Have you taken money that is not yours? 
Speak, father!' It made you shiver to hear the 
tremolo stop she put on her voice. 

"The old boy looked pretty bughouse when she 
first grappled him, but she went on, whispering in his 
ear and patting his off shoulder till he stood still, but 
sweating a little. 

" She got him to one side and they talked together a 
minute, and then he put on some gold eyeglasses and 
walked up and handed me the grip. 



Two Recalls 333 

"'Mr. Detective,' he says, talking a little broken, 
'I conclude to return with you. I have finished to 
discover that life on this desolate and displeased coast 
would be worse than to die, itself. I will go back and 
hurl myself upon the mercy of the Republic Com- 
pany. Have you brought a sheep ? ' 

" ' Sheep ! ' says I ; * I haven't a single — ' 

" * Ship,' cut in the young lady. ' Don't get funny. 
Father is of German birth, and doesn't speak perfect 
English. How did you come ? ' 

" The girl was all broke up. She had a handker- 
chief to her face, and kept saying every little bit, ' Oh, 
father, father ! ' She walked up to me and laid her lily- 
white hand on the clothes that had pained her at first. 
I smelt a million violets. She was a lulu. I told her 
I came in a private yacht. 

" ' Mr. O'Day, ' she says. * Oh, take us away from 
this horrid country at once. Can you ! Will you ! 
Say you will. ' 

" ' I'll try,' I said, concealing the fact that I was dy- 
ing to get them on salt water before they could change 
their mind. 

"One thing they both kicked against was going 



334 Cabbages and Kings 

through the town to the boat landing. Said they 
dreaded publicity, and now that they were going to re- 
turn, they had a hope that the thing might yet be kept 
out of the papers. They swore they wouldn't go un- 
less I got them out to the yacht without any one know- 
ing it, so I agreed to humour them. 

"The sailors who rowed me ashore were playing 
billiards in a bar-room near the water, waiting for or- 
ders, and I proposed to have them take the boat down 
the beach half a mile or so, and take us up there. How 
to get them word was the question, for I couldn't 
leave the grip with the prisoner, and I couldn't take it 
with me, not knowing but what the monkeys might 
stick me up. 

"The young lady says the old coloured woman 
would take them a note. I sat down and wrote it, and 
gave it to the dame with plain directions what to do, 
and she grins like a baboon and shakes her head. 

" Then Mr. Wahrfield handed her a string of for- 
eign dialect, and she nods her head and says, * See, 
seiior,' maybe fifty times, and lights out with the note. 

" f Old Augusta only understands German,' said 
Miss Wahrfield, smiling at me. * We stopped in her 



Two Recalls 335 

house to ask where we could find lodging, and she in- 
sisted upon our having coffee. She tells us she was 
raised in a German family in San Domingo.' 

"'Very likely,' I said. 'But you can search me 
for German words, except nix verstay and noch einst. 
I would have called that " See, sefior " French, though, 
on a gamble.' 

" Well, we three made a sneak around the edge of 
town so as not to be seen. We got tangled in vines 
and ferns and the banana bushes and tropical scenery 
a good deal. The monkey suburbs was as wild as 
places in Central Park. We came out on the beach a 
good half mile below. A brown chap was lying 
asleep under a cocoanut tree, with a ten-foot musket 
beside him. Mr. Wahrfield takes up the gun and 
pitches it into the sea. 'The coast is guarded,' he 
says. 'Rebellion and plots ripen like fruit.' He 
pointed to the sleeping man, who never stirred. 
'Thus,' he says, 'they perform trusts. Children!' 

" I saw our boat coming, and I struck a match and 
lit a piece of newspaper to show them where we were. 
In thirty minutes we were on board the yacht. 

" The first thing, Mr. Wahrfield and his daughter 



336 Cabbages and Kings 

and I took the grip into the owner's cabin, opened it 
up, and took an inventory. There was one hundred 
and five thousand dollars, United States treasury 
notes in it, besides a lot of diamond jewelry and a 
couple of hundred Havana cigars. I gave the old 
man the cigars and a receipt for the rest of the lot, as 
agent for the company, and locked the stuff up in my 
private quarters. 

" I never had a pleasanter trip than that one. After 
we got to sea the young lady turned out to be the jolli- 
est ever. The very first time we sat down to dinner, 
and the steward filled her glass with champagne — 
that director's yacht was a regular floating Waldorf- 
Astoria — she winks at me and says, ' What's the use 
to borrow trouble, Mr. Fly Cop ? Here's hoping you 
may live to eat the hen that scratches on your grave.' 
There was a piano on board, and she sat down to it 
and sung better than you give up two cases to hear 
plenty times. She knew about nine operas clear 
through. She was sure enough bon ton and swell. 
She wasn't one of the 'among others present' kind; 
she belonged on the special mention list ! 

"The old man, too, perked up amazingly on the 



Two Recalls 337 

way. He passed the cigars, and says to me once, 
quite chipper, out of a cloud of smoke, ' Mr. O'Day, 
somehow I think the Republic Company will not give 
me the much trouble. Guard well the gripvalise of 
the money, Mr. O'Day, for that it must be returned 
to them that it belongs when we finish to arrive. ' 

" When we landed in New York I 'phoned to the 
chief to meet us in that director's office. We got in 
a cab and went there. I carried the grip, and we 
walked in, and I was pleased to see that the chief 
had got together that same old crowd of moneybugs 
with pink faces and white vests to see us march in. I 
set the grip on the table. * There's the money,' I said. 

" ' And your prisoner ? ' said the chief. 

" I pointed to Mr. Wahrfield, and he stepped for- 
ward and says : 

" * The honour of a word with you, sir, to explain.' 

"He and the chief went into another room and 
stayed ten minutes ? When they came back the chief 
looked as black as a ton of coal. 

" ' Did this gentleman,' he says to me, ' have this 
valise in his possession when you first saw him ? ' 

"'He did,' said I. 



338 Cabbages and Kings 

"The chief took up the grip and handed it to the 
prisoner with a bow, and says to the director crowd: 
' Do any of you recognize this gentleman ? ' 

"They all shook their pink faces. 

" ' Allow me to present/ he goes on, * Sefior Mira- 
flores, president of the republic of Anchuria. The 
seiior has generously consented to overlook this out- 
rageous blunder, on condition that we undertake to 
secure him against the annoyance of public comment. 
It is a concession on his part to overlook an insult for 
which he might claim international redress. I think 
we can gratefully promise him secrecy in the matter.' 

" They gave him a pink nod all round. 

"'O'Day,' he says to me. 'As a private detective 
you're wasted. In a war, where kidnapping govern- 
ments is in the rules, you'd be invaluable. Come 
down to the office at eleven.' 

" I knew what that meant. 

"'So that's the president of the monkeys/ says I. 
' Well, why couldn't he have said so ? ' 

"Wouldn't it jar you?" 



CHAPTER EIGHTEEN 

The Vitagraphoscope 



VAUDEVILLE is intrinsically episodic and dis- 
continuous. Its audiences do not demand de- 
nouements. Sufficient unto each "turn" is the evil 
thereof. No one cares how many romances the 
singing comedienne may have had if she can capably 
sustain the limelight and a high note or two. The 
audiences reck not if the performing dogs get 
to the pound the moment they have jumped 
through their last hoop. They do not desire 
bulletins about the possible injuries received by 
the comic bicyclist who retires head-first from the 
stage in a crash of (property) china-ware. Neither 
do they consider that their seat coupons entitle 
them to be instructed whether or no there is a 



340 Cabbages and Kings 

sentiment between the lady solo banjoist and the 

Irish monologist. 

Therefore let us have no lifting of the curtain upon 
a tableau of the united lovers, backgrounded by de- 
feated villainy and derogated by the comic, osculating 
maid and butler, thrown in as a sop to the Cerberi 
of the fifty-cent seats. 

But our programme ends with a brief "turn" or 
two; and then to the exits. Whoever sits the show 
out may find, if he will, the slender thread that binds 
together, though ever so slightly, the story that, per- 
haps, only the Walrus will understand. 

Extracts from a letter from the first vice-president 
of the Republic Insurance Company, of New York 
City, to Frank Goodwin, of Coralio, Republic of 
Anchuria. 

My Dear Mr. Goodwin: — Your communication 
per Messrs. Howland and Fourchet, of New Orleans, 
has reached us. Also their draft on N. Y. for $100,- 
000, the amount abstracted from the funds of this 
company by the late J. Churchill Wahrfield, its for- 
mer president. . . . The officers and directors 
unite in requesting me to express to you their sincere 
esteem and thanks for your prompt and much appre- 



The Vitagraphoscope 341 

ciated return of the entire missing sum within two 
weeks from the time of its disappearance. . . . 
Can assure you that the matter will not be allowed to 
receive the least publicity. . . . Regret exceed- 
ingly the distressing death of Mr. Wahrfield by his 
own hand, but . . . Congratulations on your 
marriage to Miss Wahrfield . . . many charms, 
winning manners, noble and womanly nature and en- 
vied position in the best metropolitan society. . . . 
Cordially yours, 

Lucius E. Applegate, 
First Vice-President the Republic Insurance 
Company. 

The Vitagraphoscope 
(Moving Pictures) 
The Last Sausage 

Scene — An Artist's Studio. The artist, a young 
man of prepossessing appearance, sits in a dejected 
attitude, amid a litter of sketches, with his head 
resting upon his hand. An oil stove stands on a pine 
box in the centre of the studio. The artist rises, 
tightens his waist belt to another hole, and lights the 
stove. He goes to a tin bread box, half-hidden by 



342 Cabbages and Kings 

a screen, takes out a solitary link of sausage, turns 
the box upside-down to show that there is no more, 
and chucks the sausage into a frying-pan, which he 
sets upon the stove. The flame of the stove goes out, 
showing that there is no more oil. The artist, in 
evident despair, seizes the sausage, in a sudden access 
of rage, and hurls it violently from him. At the same 
time a door opens, and a man who enters receives 
the sausage forcibly against his nose. He seems to 
cry out ; and is observed to make a dance step or two, 
vigorously. The newcomer is a ruddy-faced, active, 
keen-looking man, apparently of Irish ancestry. 
Next he is observed to laugh immoderately; he kicks 
over the stove; he claps the artist (who is vainly 
striving to grasp his hand) vehemently upon the back. 
Then he goes through a pantomime which to the 
sufficiently intelligent spectator reveals that he has 
acquired large sums of money by trading pot-metal 
hatchets and razors to the Indians of the Cordillera 
Mountains for gold dust. He draws a roll of money 
as large as a small loaf of bread from his pocket, 
and waves it above his head, while at the same time 
he makes pantomime of drinking from a glass. The 



The Vitagraphoscope 343 

artist hurriedly secures his hat, and the two leave the 
studio together. 

The Writing on the Sands 

Scene — The Beach at Nice. A woman, beau- 
tiful, still young, exquisitely clothed, complacent, 
poised, reclines near the water, idly scrawling letters 
in the sand with the staff of her silken parasol. The 
beauty of her face is audacious; her languid pose is 
one that you feel to be impermanent — you wait, ex- 
pectant, for her to spring or glide or crawl, like a 
panther that has unaccountably become stock-still. 
She idly scrawls in the sand; and the word that she 
always writes is " Isabel." A man sits a few yards 
away. You can see that they are companions, even 
if no longer comrades. His face is dark and smooth, 
and almost inscrutable — but not quite. The two 
speak little together. The man also scratches on 
the sand with his cane. And the word that he writes 
is "Anchuria." And then he looks out where the 
Mediterranean and the sky intermingle, with death 
in his gaze. 



344 Cabbages and Kings 

The Wilderness and Thou 
Scene — The Borders of a Gentleman 9 s Estate in a 
Tropical Land. An old Indian, with a mahogany- 
coloured face, is trimming the grass on a grave by a 
mangrove swamp. Presently he rises to his feet and 
walks slowly toward a grove that is shaded by the 
gathering, brief twilight. In the edge of the grove 
stand a man who is stalwart, with a kind and courte- 
ous air, and a woman of a serene and clear-cut loveli- 
ness. When the old Indian comes up to them the 
man drops money in his hand. The grave-tender, 
with the stolid pride of his race, takes it as his due, 
and goes his way. The two in the edge of the grove 
turn back along the dim pathway, and walk close, 
close — for, after all, what is the world at its best 
but a little round field of the moving pictures with 
two walking together in it ? 

CURTAIN 



THE McCLDRE PRESS, NEW YORK 



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UNIVERSITY OF 

NORTH CAROLINA 




THE COLLECTION OF 
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